Search This Site

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Review- Zombie (Razors Edge Productions)

The Fab Marquee review by Jonathon Saia.

I have to admit my pre-game excitement for seeing Zombie. Serial killers have always fascinated me; the way that everyday people can assimilate undetected for months, sometimes even years, when while no one is looking, they are burying bodies in the walls of their houses. Serial killers are enigmatic with moments of emotional outcries, yes, but above all, they are charming. How else could they con people into a false sense of safety, giving the killer that opportunity to pounce when their guard is down? In here lies Zombie's fatal flaw.

Bill Conington
photo credit: c Dixie Sheridan

Listen to the way Ted Bundy talks about his violent past. Listen to the way Ed Kemper talks about murdering his mother. Listen to the way Jeffrey Dahmer talks about his cannibalism. Even Charles Manson, the poster child for sociopaths everywhere, has moments of serenity and, dare I say, normalcy in his interviews. Now contrast this with Quentin P, our Dahmer-esque narrator of Zombie. From the very first moment we see him, we know he is deeply disturbed. His unassuming wardrobe of khakis and sweater might have made him look like a college professor if not for the inclusion of those glasses, large, brimming on aviator style, essential to the signature look of Jeffrey Dahmer in his prison videos and the pedophiles circling the parking lots of the grade schools. His stooped shoulders and emotionless face let us know he is a loner, a loser, someone for whom we are supposed to garner sympathy. His voice, almost monotone in its South Dakotan accent, save for its child like cadence, paints him as unreal. Bill Connington commits 100% to the character of Quentin (minus a line flub here or there), for which I must give him credit; however, he is committing to someone to whom we have no connection, which makes it difficult to stay focused and care during his hour-long confession.

Thomas Caruso’s direction has its moments, particularly Quentin P’s use of the dummy to simulate his crimes, but it also falls prey to the idea “We are making something creepy!” with its use of mood lighting and ominous music.

Bill Conington
photo credit: c Dixie Sheridan
The script, adapted from Joyce Carol Oates’ lauded novella by Mr. Connington, could use a few tweaks and cuts, particularly some of the seemingly superfluous facts of the race of his victims, but worked well enough for the project.

Serial Killer land is one through which most people travel lightly. For all of its faults, Mr. Caruso and Mr. Connington should be commended for navigating the delicate waters with gusto and not completely sinking their ship.

Razors Edge Productions presents
Bill Connington's
February 18 to March 29, 2009
Theatre Row

Tickets are $21.25 and can be purchased online at or by calling 212-279-4200. Running time is 75 minutes with no intermission. For more information on the play and to read the rave reviews visit

Theatre Row (Studio Theatre) | 410 W 42nd St | Manhattan.

1 comment:

Dianna said...

I've been looking forward to seeing this! Thank you for the review!'s always the one whom you don't suspect that is the most interesting. Glad that it was still enjoyable, though.

~ d