The Clouds, A Reality Play

Ghost Light’s ribald and overstuffed adaptation of the Aristophanes original takes place in the tawdry realm of reality TV. There, the ratings are perilously slipping for ageing Blonde Bitch star Stephanie Stophalos (Kristina Sutherland, brilliantly channeling any number of women from The Real Wives of franchise). To forestall creditors and maintain her Gawd-given right to remain drunk at her poolside, she follows a series of recipes for success drawn from—where else?—basic cable. First she tries to get her 16-year-old nerd-genius daughter to star in a series called Screw Til You Get Pregnant. Then she matriculates in the Socrates School for Life Skills, taught by the philosopher himself (a slovenly, rather one-noted Raymond L. Williams). Writer/director Alexis Holzer’s vision for the piece is, overall, crowded, silly, mordant, and fairly effective. Amid the parade of fools, Steph greets every lesson and indignity with the same refrain: “I don’t get it.” Much as reality programming was invented to provide cheap entertainment, so was this clever but endlessly sprawling show. The Clouds seems to breeze on forever. MARGARET FRIEDMAN [See Margaret's full review.]

Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., May 1, 2 p.m. Starts: April 15. Continues through May 1, 2011

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