Stupid Fucking Bird: inconsistent but sometimes glorious

publicity photo for Stupid Fucking Bird, The Search Party

Nathan Kay and Kerry Sandomirsky. Check the label on the wooden box. (Photo by Emily Cooper)

The Search Party’s production of Stupid Fucking Bird isn’t perfect, but it includes so many wildly successful elements that it’s worth seeing.

Aaaron Posner’s script is a riff on Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull. The timeframe is updated to the present and some of the characters are rejigged, but the basic structure — including its major plot points and emphasis on triangles of unrequited love — remains the same.

We’re on Sorn’s country estate. His sister Emma, a star actress, is visiting with her lover Trig, a famous writer. In the play’s first action, Emma’s son Con presents his experimental play, We Are Here, on a stage down by the lake. Emma interrupts the performance so dismissively that Con aborts it. So the foundational unrequited love comes in the shape of Con’s search for approval from his narcissistic mom.

But Con is also yearning for Nina, his sweetheart since childhood, and the ingenue he has cast in We Are Here. But Nina has fallen for Trig, who is captivated by her beauty. (Trig is old enough to be Nina’s father and has vastly more power, so it would be just as easy to say that he’s a predator.)

Meanwhile Mash, Sorn’s parttime cook, is in love with Con and Con’s best friend Dev is helplessly smitten with Mash.

As Sorn says, “So much feeling!”

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