Entertainment » Theatre

Reservoir Dolls

by Matthew Martello
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Jan 19, 2016
Reservoir Dolls

Take a decidedly masculine film from the early 1990s and adapt it for the stage using a female cast? That sounds risky and for sure to be a flop. However, such is not the case with "Reservoir Dolls." It ends up being a highly entertaining production to continue the season at the Onyx Theatre in Las Vegas.

This stage adaptation is by Erika Sorensen, but it largely borrows from the 1992 Quentin Tarantino classic "Reservoir Dogs." A bunch of tough gals venture on a diamond heist that goes terribly wrong. The survivors from the crew desperately try to figure out which one among the group is a rat who tipped off the cops. Plenty of posturing, threats and violence ensues, with ultimately Jo Cabot (Gail Romero), the organizer of the heist, figuring out which woman is working for the L.A. police department.

As with the film (and with most of Tarantino's efforts), there are plenty of inopportune moments for laughter, which the sold-out opening night audience pounced on with passion. I've heard of many bootleg versions of "Reservoir Dogs" for the stage, and honestly I don't believe I would have been as entertained by them for the mere fact that they wouldn't have Harvey Keitel, Steve Buscemi, Michael Madsen, Lawrence Tierney or Tim Roth in them.

Thankfully, this version has a great female cast of Las Vegas valley veterans to offer a fresh look on one of my personal favorite stories. Gail Romero is sensational as Jo Cabot, the grizzled, hard-nosed ring leader. Her line delivery and character were both fantastic.

Abby Dandy is effective as Ms. Orange, the unfortunate one who's trying to keep it together after being shot in the gut during the heist. Valerie Carpenter Bernstein is great as Ms. White, trying to be the voice of reason (if one even exists among the chaos) while taking care of Orange.

Lissa Townsend Rodgers is wonderfully menacing as Ms. Blonde, the trigger-happy, imbalanced psychopath who shoots up the jewelry store when the alarm goes off. Jillian Austin has plenty of great moments as Ms. Pink, the high strung ruffian who desperately wants to abandon the original plan of meeting at the warehouse and drive off.

Deven Ceriotti is also effective as Nice Gal Edie, Jo's daughter who's the first on the scene to try and sort out the mess. My favorite moment came from April Sauline (Ms. Brown) when she offered the classic Madonna monologue during the breakfast meeting. Heather Silvio (Ms. Blue) and Andrew Young (Cop) are effective in rounding out this accomplished ensemble of actors.

Also enjoyable is the scenic design by Roxy Mojica. She took the limited space that the Onyx has and effectively transformed it into a faithful representation of the gritty warehouse from the film, right down to the very last greasy smudge mark on the walls. I was also pleased to see that the Stephen Wright character (K-Billy) as well as the wonderful 1970s music was utilized for the transitions. All in all, director Troy Heard and his cast and crew do an excellent job in re-creating a cult classic with an entertaining gender reversal that's sure to delight audiences for the rest of the run.

Due to the language and violence, "Reservoir Dolls" is intended for mature audiences.

"Reservoir Dolls" runs through Jan. 24 at The Onyx Theatre, 953 E. Sahara Avenue in Las Vegas, Nevada. For tickets and information, visit www.onyxtheatre.com.text

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