Slow, Verbose, Histrionic, Ultimately excruciating, Inaudible
See it if
You're up for a show with high self-conscious intellectual aspirations that devolve into logorrheic melodrama, misdirected and unclear.
Don't see it if
You'd prefer a show held up by more than a silent maid and an iguana, unfortunately the clearest, most layered & effective elements onstage.
In spite of an unforgivably inaudible exposition, Bitter Tears begins well enough; Gombé convinces & commands as Petra, & Alex Spieth's silent Marlene is from the start & throughout the clearest, solid backbone of this show.
All other characters however lack depth & clear motivations; we are throughout being told not shown, and without frisson or sexual tension, all is nonsense. Petra's transition from seduction to love to madness is instantaneous & unbelievable, & Gombé, given the thankless task of wailing for 20 minutes, is wasted & even more unbelievable.
As is much onstage, except for the unexpected, very real & honest iguana, the perfect metaphor for Petra: trapped, still, prehistoric, wrapped in a pretty bow, completely alone — & on a stage, a total throwaway.
In the end, this production all comes off as a rather macho intellectual exercise. One suspects this show would best have been directed by a woman, to plumb the complicated depths of emotion, desire, rejection & power.