Monday, October 11, 2021

Talented Samantha Ginn Shines in Vogel’s “Mineola Twins”

Paula (How I Learned to Drive”, “Indecent”, “The Long Christmas Ride Home” to name a few) Vogel has given us another jolting look at how history repeats itself. When I was a senior in high school, I dated a young man who smoked Lucky Strike cigarettes. Instead of the logo on the package was a picture of Eisenhower with the saying, I Like Ike”. Did He? I have no idea because politics was the last thing on my mind and Ike seemed like a good guy. Well there was that scandal about a Vicuna coat and Joe (Have you no decency)McCarthy.

Cast of Mineola Twins 

Vogel, who has a penchant for striking while the fire is hot and zeroing in on social mores and issues of the times, has created a spoof (not always funny, though) with the current production at Moxie; “The Mineola Twins” and placing them in history through three presidents or throughout the ages. Why the twins? The only set of twins I know pretty much agree on most things. Not so much the Mineola Twins from Mineola, New York, in case you were wondering. While they may look identical, (their boobs and hair or wigs tell another story) their thinking covers the gambit from ultra conservative to off the cliff liberal.

Myrna, the good twin and Myra the bad twin have made a pact. They drew an invisible line in their bedroom (Reiko Huffman sets) never twain shall meet or ‘stay out of my space’. Both spaces are occupied by one actor, Samantha Ginn who plays the good, virtuous, unsullied, chaste and above it all Myrna, while on the other side of the same coin or room Myra is a cocktail waitress, drinks, is promiscuous, rebellious, and lives life to the fullest even taking up with Myrna’s sexually repressed fiancé, Jim (Emily Jerez) in a one night fling. She ends up coming out as a lesbian and lives with her wife Sarah (Desiree Clark) and son Kenny. 

Samantha Ginn  and Emily Jerez 
Photo Moxie

The “Twins” lives take off in different directions, both fighting for their individual passions. Myra is active in a radical anti-war group. She is seen disguised as her ‘twin’ robbing a bank as part of the anti-war group’s plan. As time moves into the late 60’s and 70’s Myrna has been in and out of mental institutions, has a teenage son (Kenny Philip Magin, not by Jim) is lobbying abortion clinics and is even willing to blow one up. She’s a popular host of a radio talk show ‘Talk Back, Give Back, Bite Back’. A surprise visit from Kenny (Philip Magin) Myra’s young son (yup by Jim) who idolizes his aunt is there for her autograph. Both boys are following in the path of their aunts, not so their mothers. I guess you could say turnabout is fair play. 

Emily Jerez, Samantha Ginn, Desiree Clark

The action moves back and forth in time and is spaced into dream sequences as defined by the clothes, the wigs and the situations we are witness to. Most of the time scene changes run pretty smoothly considering Ginn and others become fast change artists. Blackouts are at a minimum and keeps the story from lagging.

All characters play multiple roles, and convincingly. Danita Lee’s costume are 60’s 70’s and 80’s right, Missy Bradstreet’s wigs (there are multiple ones) define the decades, Christopher Loren Renda’s lighting is spot on, and Matt Lescault Wood’s sound design is, as always, excellent. 

Between the multi- talented Ginn at her best, Vogel as the expert story teller (her bible stories are a hoot especially the one about Jacob and Esau) and Jennifer Eve Thorn directing, ‘The MineolaTwins’ is a great opportunity for us to take a look at how we, as a society have regressed back to the past where abortion clinics are pretty much banned, lying to the public is an everyday sound bite, shootings are but a mention in the news, women are still sex objects, democracy is on the line, and people are dying of  Covid unnecessarily

Hats off to the Moxie's for consistently bringing women’s issues to the fore.

"Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it”  (George Santayna)


The Mineola Twins” plays through October 24. Thursdays at 7:30, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.  

For information:

See you at the theatre


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