Review: “Slowgirl” at Capital Stage
A 17-year-old American girl, accused of involvement in a tragic fall of a mentally challenged schoolmate from a window during a wild house party, flees to an ex-pat uncle living in Costa Rica to contemplate her future. As much as archetypal American teenage girls contemplate, anyway.
Stephanie Altholz plays Becky, the stressed-out motor mouth who speaks with the potty-mouth profanity often associated with teenagers today. Tim Kniffin plays Sterling, the uncle who is reluctant—for the longest time—to say much about anything, especially the circumstances that led to his life of isolation in the jungle. Becky admits that thoughts and words enter her head and exit her mouth with no thought to their appropriateness or vulgarity. Sterling suggests a little filtering might be in order.
Playwright Greg Pierce’s drama is carefully, deliberately paced, and director Jennifer King pushes the tempo just firmly enough to maintain what suspense or surprise exists as each character’s layers of guilt and fear are revealed.
One brief, shocking scene between uncle and niece seems not just unnecessary but gratuitous, and it goes nowhere. Otherwise, the hopeful inter-generational détente of their connection seems genuine and believable.