Stray Cat's tart "Lemonade" spiked with surreal humor

Thursday, December 8, 2011
Arizona Republic

"MilkMilkLemonade" is a surrealist parable about gender identity and animal rights done up in "South Park" style.

Directed by Louis Farber, Stray Cat's gender-bending cast features a finely tuned comic performance by Sam Wilkes as Nanna and a hilariously over-the-top one by Michael Thompson as Lady in a Leotard (his turn as a spider with anger-management issues is worth the price of admission). Meanwhile, Molly Kurtz clucks her heart out as Linda, and Kaleena Newman and Rod Amez discover a fraught but poignant chemistry as Emory and Elliot.

More than just a hallucinogenic riff on the It Gets Better Project, "MilkMilkLemonade" has moments of deranged hilarity and subtle emotional resonance. The references to reality TV and factory farming have a satiric purpose, but seen from the microcosm of the cartoonish chicken farm, they also serve as intimations of a wider world that is both exciting and terrifying to any individual trying to find his or her -- or his/her -- place in it.