Not so scary.

Turan Koyuncu reviews Into the Bayou Madame Marie’s Shop at the Midtown International Theatre Festival 


IntotheBayouInto the Bayou Madame Marie’s Shop is a good old thriller and mystery. Unfortunately, not all the mystery seemed solvable. We start with a candle ritual thus implying paganism, how we meet Maria, an enigma herself, proprietor of a beauty salon which houses dark secrets – ala American Horror Story of a few years ago. Voodoo dolls, ancient legends, even vampirism is implied. A formulaic ending tied things up but not very exciting.

Marlene Villafane who played Maria was animated and energetic but not engaging; Isobella Caroline Boucher, who played Caitlyn, also had potential but just didn’t hit their mark. A sense of inexperience seemed to hover over the production. Volume, diction, and further use of suasion was needed all around. The well-dressed set only proved a hindrance as the actors kept dropping the atmospheric props.

Sound effects and music were also clumsy. They seemed not synchronized with the staging, The music was sometimes too loud and we cannot hear Caitlyn and the other actors speak. Into the Bayou Madame Maria’s Shop is the type of play where it gives the audience the puzzle pieces and let the audience solve the storyline. I quite enjoy these type of shows in this case we need more pieces.

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