It comes as no surprise to learn that Natalie Margolin, who both wrote and stars in The Power of Punctuation, was considered one of the funniest women at her Alma mater. The Kenyon College grad could easily be placed in the same category as Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Amy Schumer. Margolin’s drama thesis is currently being staged at the intimate Davenport Theater and is well worth the 60 minute investment.
The Power of Punctuation begins as millennial roommates, Jenny (Margolin) and Fran (Elizabeth Gambal) are drunk dancing to the latest Top 40 song after a long night at the bar. Then tragedy strikes. No…someone is neither seriously wounded nor in danger of death. This is a calamity far worse. It turns out that Fran has broken her iPhone and might not receive text messages from Jason! Fortunately, the “great white apple of hope” is restored to her mobile device. The rest of the evening is spent analyzing and agonizing about the art of texting: What do the messages actually mean and when do they merit a response?
To keep track of it all, Jenny has devised a scoreboard for herself, Fran, and their third roommate, Angie (Rebecca Frisch). The board ranks text messages on criteria including punctuation, capitalization, and whether or not the sender has posed a question.
With able direction from Casey Griffin, this trio navigates the rough waters of dating in a manner that is both endearing and hilarious. One of the play’s minor drawbacks however, is in the pacing. Most of the jokes land, but others linger a tad longer than they should. Perhaps this can be overlooked given the level of the ladies’ alcohol consumption. On the other hand, it ends abruptly and one wishes that Margolin would explore her character’s plights a bit further.
For those who criticize millennials, take heart (and stop painting all of them with the same brush!). Margolin wryly observes the stereotypes that plague her peers and turns them into nuggets of satiric gold. With a promising playwright/actor like her, we can take comfort in the knowledge that the future of comedy rests in good hands.
The Power of Punctuation runs through August 6th at the Davenport Theater (West 45th between 9th and 10th). For tickets and more information, click here.