“All of the facts are completely true except birds can’t talk.”
Birds of a Feather is a heart-warming, smart comedy about two bird families: Roy and Silo, two penguins at the Central Park Zoo that adopt and raise a chick, and Pale Male and Lola, two hawks living and raising their own on a trendy Manhattan building. The play is based on true events. And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson is a controversial children’s book based on the penguins, and the entirety of New York City was in awe of the hawks that nestled onto an expensive residential building. The show emphasizes a great message: that any type of family that works should be celebrated, conventional or not, gay or straight.
The background behind the set is composed of several rows of screens that play various clips throughout the play. Robbie Hayes’ set design is made up of an ice floor and staircase that leads up to a plateau with two chairs made of twigs. Silo and Roy occupy the icy ground while Lola and Pale Male relax comfortably in their Fifth Avenue nest chairs during their respective scenes.
Director Shirley Serotsky gets great performances from both her fine-feathered and featherless cast. Matt Dewberry and Dan Crane play two very opposite bird couples: the gay penguin couple that adopts and raises a chick, and the high maintenance, straight hawk couple that lives on a luxurious Fifth Avenue building. The couples are vastly different from one another, and these incredible actors manage to pull the audience into both relationships seemingly without effort. Each partner, in both bird couples, disagrees on how to raise their offspring and offer hilarious parenting input. For example, Pale Male practices tough love, bellowing, “Use your claws not your words” to his daughter.
Eric M. Messner and Jjana Valentiner both play many “featherless birds” (or people) whose lives are affected by these birds. In their most interesting characters, Valentiner plays the Zookeeper, an endearing single woman who deeply cares for the penguins, and Messner plays Birder, an ordinary New York City guy who falls in love with watching the trendy hawks. These characters are extremely sympathetic and lovable. Messner and Valentiner do a fantastic job, and move the audience to love the birds as they do.
Birds of a Feather is a theater gem, a ‘Must-See’, and a beautiful story. The play challenges binary gender constructs, shows that love should not be constrained to these, and that there are an infinite different ways to love. This is the world premiere season for Birds of a Feather. Get your tickets and be the one of the first to watch this show, which will undoubtedly gain recognition and reach fame in the theater world.
Running time: 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Birds of a Feather plays through August 7th at The Hub Theatre – 9431 Silver King Court, in Farifax VA. Buy tickets online, or call 703-674-3177.