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Fit To Be Tied

By Nicky Silverbenevolent theatre

Directed by Sean Murphy

Produced by Benevolent Theatre

At Angel Island, Chicago

“I’ll give it to you one pearl at a time. Each day. Every day you love him.” – Nessa

Strange quirky dark farce a mixed bag of drama and comedy

Nicky Silver loves to stretch credulity in his plays. He employs a mixture of dark farce with pathos to express the foibles of humanity. The below synopsis of Fit To Be Tied states what happens:

“Arloc Simpson is fabulously wealthy but desperately lonely, living a solitary life for many years. Wrestling with the idea of his own mortality after having just read the obituary of a former lover in the paper, Arloc goes for a walk…a very long walk. And meets a stranger, Boyd, who he believes may be the great love of his life. A runaway with no family, Boyd works as an angel at Radio City’s Christmas Spectacular. Somewhat smitten of this angel, and after only one drink, Arloc can’t find it in himself to part with Boyd, and let his last chance for happiness escape. So he kidnaps him. At that moment, Arloc’s mother, Nessa descends upon him. Nessa is a flamboyant, fast talking, heavy drinking, promiscuous woman, who has fled her loveless marriage and, with nowhere else to go, seeks refuge with her son. Will love concur all as more of this trio’s troubled past unfolds? Or will the presence of this angel be too much for the other more fragile and desperate pair?”

benevolent theatre

That is part of the action here but director Sean Murphy couldn’t decide how to consistently play Fit To be Tied as a dark farce or a quirky drama. The result is a mixed bag that comes off as simply weird. Are these characters all nuts? Certainly Arloc (Michael Palmenderi) sure is, and Nessa (Lily Sauvage) is a total narcissist, while Carl ( Gary Saipe) is a desperate lost soul.  The lack of focus hurts this show. We can’t decide to laugh or simply shutter at the wackiness of these misfits. The only ‘sane’ one here is Boyd (David Keohane) and he should grab all the cash he can and split before he gets the neurosis that the others seem to have. Yet, I must say that there is something interesting here that keeps us engaged as we witness such quirky struggles for love and attention these folks aspire for. Fit To be Tied has its moments.

Somewhat Recommended

Tom Williams

Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast

Date  Reviewed: March 1, 2015

For more info checkout the Fit To Be Tied page at

At Angel Island, 731 W. Sheridan, Chicago, IL, call 773-871-0442 tickets $15 -$20, Thursdays thru Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 2 pm, running time is 2 hours, 10 minutes with intermission, through March 15, 2015