Pajamas at the supermarket? Denim in restaurants? T-shirts at the theatre? For Chanel’s sake, this play is about Art! Wear some stylish threads and a fabulous Sunday hat to the regional premiere of “Important Hats of the Twentieth Century” at The Warehouse Theatre.
This wacky science-fiction screwball comedy by “Orange is the New Black” scribe Nick Jones splits the seams of the absurd world of fashion and art, greed and consumerism, and an intemperate, scandalous media. Cleverly framed as a madcap pastiche of satire, melodrama and noir, “Important Hats” could be taken as the brainchild of H.G. Wells and Mel Brooks (if they worked for SNL), and its wit is matched only by its superb cast and innovative design team.
And Friday’s opening of was notable not only for the first production of this far-fetched farce about two rival fashion designers in post-Depression Manhattan since its November 2015 premiere Off-Broadway at the Manhattan Theatre Club, but also for the official debut of The Warehouse Theatre’s new Producing Artistic Director Mike Sablone, who jetted to Greenville just in time for the premiere.
An ecstatic audience embraced both with unfettered enthusiasm as the company embarks on a new age of artistic splendor under Sablone and Jason D. Johnson, recently promoted to Managing Director.
Science fiction on stage is not unheard of: take last year’s glossy “Brave New World” musical adaptation at North Carolina Stage Company, and of course, “The Rocky Horror Show” and “Little Shop of Horrors.” But non-musicals in this genre are quite rare.
And whereas the theatre’s previous outing “In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play)” was concerned with the female human condition of hysteria, “Important Hats” is just plain hysterical, and very much in the satirical vein of the 43rd season opener “Urinetown.”
Read more of this Carolina Curtain Call review by Sandy Staggs HERE.