I will say, I’ve never bought Postmates before but I might give it a go because they made it super enticing. From Lowbrow Opera Collective, #adulting!, directed by Katie Kelley with assistant director Christine Oshiki, opened January 30th at 18th and Union with a series of short scenes of an operatic and sometimes vulgar nature about a group of roommates who found each other on Craigslist and have very few life skills. Oh, to be young and naïve.
To say the scenes had a touch of melodrama would be an understatement. Using opera singing and libretto to tell the stories of these short scenes certainly plays into the melodrama. I don’t mean that as a criticism. The melodrama is where most of the humor comes from in #adulting!, with wild overreactions to broken phones, writing rent checks, couch stains, and who ate a birthday cake. The over the top humor does mean that sometimes even the actors struggled to keep straight faces, but I was laughing too. #adulting! also didn’t fall into the trap of being, “Oh, we’re millennials we don’t know anything because the millennial generation doesn’t know how life works”. While these roommates didn’t know how many aspects of how life worked, the self-deprecating humor was juxtaposed with some examples of competence. The colorful cast of a 4:20 friendly couple (Christine Oshiki and Eric Angus Jeffords), a gay lawyer (Jared White), and the oddly named Bucket (Krissy Teriwilliger), along with various other colorful characters played by Katie Kelley and Nic Varela, all brought an energy that made the scenes really tick most of time.
#adulting! is a little front loaded though. A couple of the scenes in the second half didn’t have the same melodramatic charm as all scenes in the first half. There’s the return of a character, which felt like just a cheap laugh, and a sort of odd infomercial that felt out of place. Though, they did nail what it was like to call Verizon customer support. It can be a little tricky to decipher what their actors are singing about when all are singing together or over the top of each other, but those moments are few and far between. The lighting during the transitions, which also looked strange and roundabout, was an odd choice. It was lit in a way where you could see everything and I couldn’t help but think “Is this part of it…?”. There are also a fair number of scenes where some characters really didn’t need to be there and cluttered the small apartment and stage.
This is definitely not a kid friendly show due to the language and vulgarity, but there are many things that resonate, not just with millennials, but with anyone trying to live on their own and figure out life. In that respect, #adulting! really hits the target. There are a few structural and logistical aspects that seemed odd and out of place, but if you find humor in melodramatic, opera singing millennials, this is the show for you.