‘The House of Yes’ delivers macabre comedy

The time is Thanksgiving. The place, McLean, a posh Virginia suburb near Washington, D.C. Twenty years after JFK’s assassination, one member of the Pascal clan has a fixation in her life: re-enacting the Kennedy assassination, handling her namesake’s role with zeal for incongruity.

The Jerry Herman Ring Theater becomes the setting for a family dinner where a lot of things are wrong and you start to worry because you hope they go even worse. Wendy MacLeod’s The House of Yes, subtitled a Suburban Jacobean Play, puts into practice the proverb that history repeats itself as farce.

Christina Valo’s disturbingly hilarious performance as Jackie O sets the pace for this eerily comedic play. Jacqueline got her nickname from a party she attended by dressing exactly as Jackie Kennedy, in a pink Chanel suit, adding a few realistic details such as blood and gray-dyed macaroni to look like brain tissue. As the family waits for Marty, the eldest son, a hurricane rages outside, but is no cause for concern.

Marty is Jackie-O’s identical twin, her partner in the re-enactment of the assassination and also partner in bed. He is the only man that can turn on Jackie-O. She is therefore jealous of Marty’s naive smalltown girlfriend, Lesly, whom he brings over for the dinner as a display of freedom from the smothering, tyrannical Mrs. Pascal.

Younger brother Arthur lacks social grace but tries his best to attract Lesly.

MacLeod’s realistic script challenges director Vincent Cardinal to let his actors relax and deliver their lines with precision. Valo’s Jackie-O is relentless in her seduction and sarcasm. She purrs, she mimics, she taunts, and she walks the fine line of sanity with so much allure that the play roars along with dark humor coatings shading the very macabre situation.

The House of Yes will be playing until March 2 at the Ring Theater.

February 26, 2002


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

Around the Web

University of Miami students share their thoughts and impressions as President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris take the helm. ...

Following Wednesday’s historic event, University of Miami experts in various fields provide their insight on the biggest challenges facing the new administration. ...

As part of the “Roadmap to Our New Century” initiative, the University of Miami advances the art of teaching and the science of learning by partnering with students, alumni, and others to offer options throughout the entire adult learning life cycle. ...

University of Miami experts weigh the merit and consequences of amending or repealing the communications law that provides a legal shield for service providers from the words, images, and videos posted by their users. ...

The United States Postal Service features Emilio Sanchez, the first Cuban American visual artist to be recognized in a new series of Forever stamps. ...

TMH Twitter
About Us

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published in print every Tuesday.