Kingdom Come 😳 Theatre Review


Written by Thelonia

The world of online dating can be rough. But for two young women, fears and insecurities lead them to lie about themselves online, and in the process, they form a deep emotional connection to each other. But the lies can only go so far. What happens when the Catfish get revealed and the true players have to come out from behind their keyboards to confront the consequences of their lies?

Sammy and Layne have a hard time meeting other people - Sammy weighs 600 lbs. and is bed-bound, and Layne is painfully shy and deeply awkward. The two of them, stuck in the middle of Nevada, wind up on OkCupid to look for something more than they currently have. But because neither of them feel like they can achieve those dreams on their own merits (and bodies), they become other people online. The two end up Cat-fishing each other (a term I thought was common vernacular until I had to explain it five times in a week after seeing this play), contacting each other while pretending to be someone they're not: Sammy pretends to be Dom, the hot aspiring model turned coffee shop employee son of her Colombian nurse Dolores, and Layne uses stock photos of "pretty blond woman" to become her dream self: a stewardess ("aren't you supposed to say flight attendant?") called Courtney. As both fall deeper into each other's fantasy selves, the lies build and build to where you know they can only end in a fiery car crash of emotion. By the end, everything is so precariously settled that you get the impression that the happy ending achieved cannot and will not last.

Going into this play, I had little understanding of why someone would want to Catfish someone - why let yourself get involved so deep with someone if you know it's all a lie. But I think I have a better understanding now of how a small lie meant to provide momentary relief can really spiral out of control. Kingdom Come is a look at two people and their struggle to find human connections, turning to easy gratification and the freedom of acting from behind a mask. But the connections they make, despite all the subterfuge, seem legitimate and heartfelt. These are not connections to be taken lightly.

Despite the fact that a huge plot point involves a baguette (that is in fact, a penis).

The repartees are quick and witty, and the characters sometimes deeply unlikable. But seeing how they got pulled into their own deceptions so much so they started to buy into their own cons, as well as seeing how nothing this profoundly emotional can get resolved with a nice bow on top, makes every character deeply moving in their own ways.

Also, now I'm going to marathon episodes of Catfish.

Kingdom Come is playing at the Roundabout Theatre until December 18th.

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