‘Angry Young Women in Low Rise Jeans with High Class Issues’

An excerpt of Matt Morillo’s “Angry Young Women in Low Rise Jeans with High Class Issues” was originally performed at Theater for the New City as the midnight show on May 28, 2006 in the Lower East Side Festival of the Arts.

Artistic director Crystal Field was so charmed by the humor of the excerpt of the play and the excellence of the ensemble that she invited playwright/director Matt Morillo to return with his cast for a full production at Theater for the New City in January, 2007. So the Kings and Desperate Men Players, who packed the Duo Theater for six weeks last season, will return to the East Village for a new engagement January 4 to February 11, 2007 to share the play with a wider audience.

They’re Coming Back, Angrier Than Ever!

So now they are coming back to share the East Village hit from last season. This time with a wider audience. Theater for the New City presents “Angry Young Women in Low Rise Jeans with High Class Issues,” again directed by writer Matt Morillo. The comedy has been slightly re-written, extensively re-designed and partially re-cast, but retains most of the ensemble-The Kings and Desperate Men Players – that rocked East Fourth Street’s Duo Theater for six weeks last season.

Humorist Matt Morillo didn’t think “Sex in the City” was funny enough. So he set out to write his own play about what makes foxy women tick, while avoiding the long shadow of “The Vagina Monologues.” He began with a series of character studies based on simple listening, discovery and whatever flew into his head. Out came “Angry Young Women in Low-Rise Jeans with High-Class Issues,” a light-to-serious look at the psychology of urban goddesses.

Playing Beauty Forever

Devon Pipars, Rachel Nau in the mirror
L: Devon Pipars, R: Rachel Nau

It’s one thing to be beautiful by an act of God. It’s another to be paying for it every day of your life. These girls are coffee-driven, sensitive, wired, misunderstood and fuming with awkward issues. Who’d have dreamed that when she bares her soul, temptation could be so self-conscious? The play parades a series of foxy, witty and anxious women who bear the expectations of the world like an itchy muffler. They are frustrated with the way of the world, the perceptions men have of them and their own reactions to it.

How, for example, do you resolve contradictions like dressing as a hooker and still being a feminist? So they go head to head with such issues as Electra complexes, bikini waxes, low rider jeans, their oversexed mothers, thongs, brazen teenagers, men’s sexual fantasies, side effects of birth control drugs, mean teenagers on the subway, sympathy sex and the artistic integrity of penises and vaginas in independent films.

Outrageous Comedy

The show bills itself as “An Outrageous Comedy” and its postcards declare, “Even though it’s a play, it doesn’t suck.” Reviews of last season’s production were uniformly affirming:

Devon Pipars, Rachel Nau measure up
L: Devon Pipars, R: Rachel Nau

Praise for Angry Young Women

New York Cool (Sharsten Senior) cheered, “Angry Young Women in Low-Rise Jeans with High Class Issues is a must see for any Sex and the City fan. Matt Morillo writes, directs, and produces this series of skits, which captures the unexplainable yet undeniable differences between men and women. After seeing this play the first thing on my mind was, ‘Wow, Morillo sure has been through some high class issues with women.’ The play is so well written I could only assume that these situations were once his own. The casting was perfect. The actors fit the parts and their jeans. And as sure as I am a woman, I will be re-attending.”

Backstage (Tom Penketh) observed, “Despite the handicap of being male, the playwright-director seems able to grasp deeply many of these situations – from daddy issues to the emotional roller coaster of ‘the pill’.”

Offoffonline (Timothy John Papp) added, “It is nearly impossible to find a reason not to laugh at this ingenious farce.’Angry Young Women’ is an entertaining show, questioning the ideals of what women want to be, what men want women to be, and what both men and women are willing to do to get what they want. ‘The Nude Scene’ is worth the price of admission by itself, a truly great piece of theater.”

Audience Testimonials

Audience members of last winter’s production emailed the show’s website with such testimonials as “It’s like Sex and the City on stage” (Elissa Soule, Kew Gardens, NY) and “Hard to believe a guy who’s never worn a thong would capture the anger and the thoughts of women everywhere! Imagine if he ever did wear a thong?” (Anne Stampfel, Malverne, NY). The piece evidenced wide appeal: it drew equally from both sexes and its audience was split evenly between Manhattanites and suburbanites.

Before “Angry Young Women,” playwright Matt Morillo had been a fixture on the New York independent film scene for seven years. He is a producer, writer/director and “other half” (with Rich Barbadillo) of KADM Productions. He debuted auspiciously at the age twenty-three with his romantic comedy, “The Pretenders.” His next project, “Good Tidings,” a fifteen-minute short film about a young girl suffering through her parents’ divorce, was deemed “A thought-provoking drama powered by Jessica Durdock’s moving performance” (Don Lewis, Film Talk).

Thom Bennett wrote in Film Scouts, “Morillo’s strengths lie in his appreciation of the subtle nuances of family and the ability to elicit fine performances from his actors.” Morillo’s last film, the comedy “Maid Of Honor,” won Best Short Film at Long Island International Film Expo, Best Honorable Mention at Cinekink Festival, Second Place at Zoie Sexy Short Film Festival, and had sold out screenings at the Long Island International Film Expo and at the Independent Film Group Series. Beside his work in independent film, he has collaborated with stand-up comedians Beth Lynn Kelly, Brooke Haselton and Ray Wetz.

Angry young women Devon Pipars and Rachel Nau
L: Devon Pipars, R: Rachel Nau

Morillo was raised in Hicksville, graduated Hicksville High in 1994 and attended college at C.W. Post.

The play is written and directed by Matt Morillo. Most of last year’s cast-The Kings and Desperate Men Players-will be returning. The ensemble will be: Rachel Nau, Thomas J. Pilutik, Devon Pipars, Angelique Letizia, Nicholas J. Coleman, JessAnn Smith and Martin Friedrichs.

Lighting design is by Amith A. Chandrashaker. Set design is by Jana Mattioli.

Presented by Theater for the New City “Angry Young Women in Low Rise Jeans with High Class Issues,” has more information available on the show’s website: angryyoungwomen.net

Angry Women in Low Rise Jeans with High Class Issues
Angry Women in Low Rise Jeans with High Class Issues
Jonathan Slaff
Jonathan Slaff writes on cultural events from the brainy, the edgy and the good. He helps us keep ahead of the curve in the world of the arts and culture.