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The Vomit Talk of Ghosts 

More like a vacation from reality than a dreamlike alternative to it

Wednesday, Jul 30 2003
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"I was stuck on his wrist like a puppet," says Amber, the heroine of Kevin Oakes' newish play, telling her best friend Chloe about a fisting experience she's had with her boyfriend. "He gave me such a hungry cunt." This is dirty talk indeed for a 14-year-old girl, and when you realize that Amber's boyfriend is a ghost named the Deadman, well, then you understand that The Vomit Talk of Ghosts lives in a world of its own. That world might be described as surreal farce or Strindberg-meets-American domestic comedy, but in any case the Cutting Ball Theater cast hasn't found the right tone to pull it off, in spite of a sharp performance by Elizabeth Bullard as the chirpy, precocious Amber. Her parents know she talks to the dead and encourage her to contact the Deadman for advice (or something), but not enough ordinary things happen in the play to persuade an audience to care. Vomit Talk greatly improves after a bear arrives, in Act 2, but overall the cheerfully casual talk about death and sex and self-mortification plays more like a vacation from reality than a dreamlike alternative.

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