Theatre ReviewsTom Williams

Ozma & Harriet

By Daniel Caffreyozma & harriet

Directed by Timothy Bambara

Produced by Tympanic Theatre Company

At The Side Project Chicago

It is refreshing to see an new play that  contains wit, humor, biting satire with zinging commentary about what it is to be human.  Ozma & Harrier is playwright Daniel Caffrey’s satire  on the influence of TV sitcoms and pop culture.  This is a nicely written and well staged comedy that quickly engages and holds us through it 100 minutes (with intermission).

ozma & harriet

It’s 1991, scientist Frank Younger (Paul E. Martinez) has created Ozma (the utterly charming Christopher Acevedo), the world’s first fully functional android. Ozma has all the bodily functions of a human including emotions. When Harriet (Cara Olanskt) secretly bonds with Ozma due to her loneliness and estrangement from Frank, she introduces Ozma to television. TV now becomes Ozma’s primary learning tool as does his companionship with Harriet.

ozma & harriet

As sparks fly between Harriet and the newly horny Ozma, tragedy strikes that leads Ozma into a TV-fueled quest of sex (with a whore), the pains of death and the fulfillment of revenge. Structured as a memory play with a Greek chorus styled team of grips and TV production crew, Ozma & Harriett deftly satirizes the influence of TV sitcoms as well as what it is to be human. It is also a new twist on relationships and human needs. There is much TV sitcom based humor (much of which escapes me since I don’t watch sitcoms) .  Christopher Acevedo’s performance as the android, Ozma was excellent in that he is most believable as a machine that emerges as a most charming humanoid character.

ozma & harriet

Ozma & Harriet is terrific date night fare that is a swift, funny and sexy comedy filled with enough satirical bite to be effective.  This work has experimental theatrical elements  with hints of insanity and loads of humor. Ozma & Harriet is worth a look.


Tom Williams

At The Side Project, 1439 W. Jarvis, Chicago, IL, call 773-442-2882 , tickets $15, $12 students/industry, Thursdays thru Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 7 pm, running time is 100 minutes with intermission, through April 18, 2010

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