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Essential Self-Defense

by Adam Rapp

This play is weird. I mean, it's funny, but it's about very strange people. It reminded me of something Christopher Moore might write (he was on my brain, as I was recommending A Dirty Job and Fool to friends at Forum Tuesday night). Anyway, who says plays should only be written about princes and counties? There are weird people out there and they deserve to have plays about them, too.

The story centers on an unlikely couple who meet in self-defense class: Sadie, a student, and Yul, the guy she beats up week after week.

Yul's weird sense of humor gave me the most pleasure while reading this play. When Sadie comes to visit him at his place, she notices that he has a lot of eggs lying around. He's a little strange about them, telling her:
They're more like color-coded containers. But that subject needs to end forever.
Clearly, he has evil intentions for those innocent-looking eggs. The story has just the right amount of ambiguity, which allows you to draw your own conclusions as to what type of guy Yul really is. Is he just a misunderstood loner or is he, well, a terrorist?

You'll have to read to find out... ;)

For all his eccentricities, Yul is a very smart guy. While at a super awkward dinner party, he cautions the group:
I think books are more dangerous than anything. Because they get at your thoughts in the most personal way. The author's voice is like a whisper that finds you at midnight.
Love that image.

All in all, not my favorite of Rapp's work, but an entertaining read and good for a chuckle. Also, a good piece to look at for off-beat, quirky character work and monologues.

Tomorrow's Play:
Two Precious Maidens Ridiculed by Moliere

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