Carol Triffle returns to the Imago boards with an original music-theatre play about the pitfalls and disasters of beauty pageants and the regrets and dangers of becoming an accidental sex star.
Francesca, Isabella, Margarita on a Cloud opens May 20 and plays to June 19, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 and Sundays at 2:00 at Imago Theatre, 17 SE 8th. Tickets can be purchased by calling Imago at 503.231.9581 or TicketsWest at 503.224.8499, or at TicketsWest.com. Recommended for 16 and older. Original music is by Katie Griesar and Light Design by Jeff Forbes.
In “Cloud,” Francesca (Megan Skye Hale), now in her thirties, is tortured by a record of 0 wins and 9 losses in her career of Tiny Miss Pageants and Teen Miss of America. Margarita (Anne Sorce), her older sister, is plagued by a record of 12 wins and 0 losses. They are both troubled by their deceased parents Jackie and Julian, suspecting the parents committed fraud in the pageants. The sisters are confused by why Margarita won all her contests and Francesca lost all hers. Isabella, their younger twenty-five-year-old sister (Elizabeth Fagan), returns from a strange trip to Albuquerque where she may or may not have become a reluctant sex star.
Carol Triffle’s work defies classification. Non sequiturs, comedic crooked plot lines, and innocent characters on the verge of tragedy are some of the elements that drive her work Her latest Francesca, Isabella, Margarita on a Cloud continues a canon of work that began in 2006.
Triffle’s direction brings out vulnerable states in an actor’s clown, which leaves her characters exposed to a harsh world. In “Hit Me in the Stomach,” her heroine battles to stay sane between two vacant men. In “Simple People,” the fallen heroine has dropped from the financial elite to find meaning at a homeless shelter. “Beaux Arts Club” finds an artist looking for truth in the wrong place – in superficial friends and superficial art. Triffle often uses the same actors from production to production and builds on ensemble rapport to strengthen the dynamics of her character relationships.
Of Triffle's past works Beaux Arts Club, Splat, and The Dinner, the critics have raved: “Twisted and delightful fever,” said the Willamette Week; “Weirdly Brilliant,” glowed The Oregonian.
Triffle features troubled women in her productions, with male characters that are the result or the cause of the women’s angst. In “Cloud,” a weatherman who lives next door has courted Margarita for years. Her constant rejections come every day, even when he boasts that he has just finished “his best broadcast yet!” Isabella has fallen for Ray Ray (Kyle Delamarter), but feels she has betrayed him when she performs a “sensitive” scene in a movie.