POST: 'Unseamly' - how to speak out

Photo by Russ Rowland of the production  Unseamly

Photo by Russ Rowland of the production Unseamly

What's it about?

Unseamly is basically a combination of a Lifetime and a Hallmark movie. The show is about a girl (Malina) who wants a position at a clothing store named The Standard. The clothing store is infamous for their naughty billboard ads. When Malina meets with the CEO of the company (Ira Slatsky) she finds herself getting more than just a position. With accusations of underage sexual abuse and engaging in sexual activity against her will Malina turns to a stressed out lawyer (Adam) for help.

What did I experience?

I always enjoy walking into theaters I’ve never been in before. I got my tickets from the box office at Urban Stages and headed into the theater - it was very intimate. The seats were a little too close together for me, being that I am 5’9 or 5’10 (I don’t even know). Either way I was too tall for these seats and my knees were hurting a little. 

As I was sitting, I saw a girl onstage in an office chair just hanging around. The show began with Adam (a lawyer) interviewing Malina. Adam asked Malina questions like “Did he force you?” “How old were you?” and “Was it consensual?” I realized that Malina needed a lawyer because she was raped. Why else would he be asking questions of this nature? 

While Adam and Malina were talking the wall behind them turned into a screen and a video of Ira Slatsky, Malina's boss, pops up. He was talking about how his company is so upstanding and genuinely kind. After the video, Ira comes down the stairs from behind the audience wearing only his underwear and socks. The set changes into his office and Adam is just taking notes. I wasn’t too sure what Adam's place was in this part because he said nothing. I thought to myself - Is he supposed to be here? or Did he forget to walk off?

Throughout the show Adam never left the stage - he was either in conversation with somebody or in a corner taking notes. I realized that Malina was actually reenacting events that she was talking to Adam about to show us, the audience. It didn't take long for me to make that connection because in the majority of the scenes Malina would be interacting with Ira but talking to Adam as if he was present. Once I realized, I was then ready to engage with the show. In that moment I knew what Adam's purpose was. All of the scenes were taking place in his office because they were flashbacks to what Malina experienced.

The show ended with Adam taking Malina's case. He made it his priority to put Ira on every newspaper and magazine front page. He wanted everyone to know he was a untrustworthy CEO.

I had a few expectations for this show based on viewing it's flyer - cold and heartrending. The way the girl is turned looking over her shoulder and has her hair covered over her face leads you to believe that the show would be dramatic. I thought my feelings would intensify throughout the show, but they didn't. I loved how informative and educating it was towards teens who want to speak out about abuse but emotionally it didn’t speak to me as much as I wanted it to.


Want to see it?

$15 Student Rush

Urban Stages Theater
thru Nov. 8

*recommended for 16 yrs+