Teen angst dominates Burbage’s ‘Our Dear Dead Drug Lord’


Theatre Review by Don Fowler

Can you not like a play and still recommend it for a targeted audience?

In all my years, I’ve never done that, but Alexis Scheer’s quirky play, “Our Dear Dead Drug Lord,” has gathered a strong young audience in New York, and now in its Rhode Island premiere, to merit a mention.

The opening night audience at Burbage Theatre laughed frequently at the antics of four diverse teenage girls, consummating with a loud standing ovation at the shocking ending.

I sat there thinking, “Say what?”

I guess it’s called the generation gap, and the gap is getting wider between me and some young, modern playwrights.

The good news is that these playwrights are writing about important issues, with diverse, young actors tackling issues that affect them. The result is attracting young people to the theatre. And that’s a good thing.

Scheer’s play is loaded with teen girl talk, often loud and bawdy, with four girls trying to yell louder than each other to get their point across.

Beneath the brashness are the insecurities and fears they face in their everyday lives, as they slowly reveal their innermost feelings.

They are very much different, yet very much the same, coming together in an abandoned tree house at the Dead Leaders Club, summoning up the ghost of drug lord Pablo Escobar.

The 80-minute play continues in high gear without intermission until the shocking ending.

Filled with teen humor, sex, profanity and issues that consume many young women, the play has an attraction for a young audience facing the same issues.

Therefore, I recommend it to the younger audience, male and female, gay and straight, Black, brown and white.

We older folks should give up our seats for them.

“Our Dear Dead Drug Lord” is at Burbage Theatre through June 26. Call 484-0355.


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