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Broadway World: Review: A THOUSAND MAIDS at Two River Theater-Meaningful and Humorous

“We have more to do than wonder about our place in the world.” Lupe

Two River Theater (TRT) is now presenting the captivating world premiere comedy, A Thousand Maids. The play is smartly written by Tony Meneses, finely directed by Aneesha Kudtarkar, and features a superb cast. We attended the opening night performance when the full-house audience gave the show a rousing reception. Meneses is well known to TRT audiences as the Theater has also produced his highly acclaimed plays, The Hombres and Guadalupe in the Guest Room. 

A Thousand Maids is set in New York City in the present day.  Cordelia is an up and coming costume designer tasked to create a maid outfit for a new show. She rejects the typical black and white outfits that have portrayed workers as racial stereotypes. Cordelia wants to better understand maids’ attitudes including those that have worked at the profession in her family.  In spite of her colleagues’ opinions, she hopes to create a costume design that portrays maids with their own beauty and authenticity.

The cast includes Deonna Bouye as Butterfly; Natalie Woolams-Torres as Cordelia; Kate Siahaan-Rigg as Vivian; and Maria Elena Ramirez as Lupe. All of the members of the troupe so deftly assume other roles to round out and develop Meneses’ story that you may think that the comedy actually has a much bigger cast. The dialogue is sharp and witty, and the company delivers it without missing a beat.

A Thousand Maids is teeming with funny, yet meaningful moments in a series of thought provoking scenes. Memorable ones include Cordelia arriving at the borrowed apartment in NYC; Butterfly enacting Prissy in Gone With the Wind; Cordelia telling Vivian that she doesn’t require cleaning in the apartment; Lupe listing many Latina maid stereotypes that have appeared in shows; Cordelia discussing her costume designs with the show’s playwright; Vivian telling Cordelia how she encourages her daughter to succeed; and all of the women donning lavish evening wear.

The talented Creative and Production Teams have done a top job of bringing A Thousand Maids to the Red Bank Stage.  They include scenic design by Alexander Dodge; costume design by Kara Harmon; lighting design by Cat Tate Starmer; sound design and original music by Fabian Obispo; hair and make-up design by Gabbie Vincent; the casting is by Caparelliotis Casting, David Caparelliotis and Joseph Gery.  The Dramaturg is Sonia Desai; Dialect Coach; Nathan Crocker; Assistant Director, Bailey Dumlao; Associate Scenic Designer, Clayton Dombach; Assistant Lighting Designer, Maz Sailer; Wig Supervisor, Katie Bailey.

A Thousand Maids delivers an essential, socially conscious message from multiple perspectives, yet it is very clever and humorous. It’s a show this April that shouldn’t be missed.

A Thousand Maids is now being performed at Two River Theater through Sunday April 28 with matinee and evening shows available. The show runs for 90 minutes with no intermission. The Theater is located at  21 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank, NJ  07701  For ticketing and more information, please visit and call  (732) 345-1400.

Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson