One of my favorite things to do in the world is get extremely high and watch live theatre because the suspension of disbelief is like mega television. Tonight I saw a play called “Unseamly,” written by Dov Charney’s cousin, Oren Safdie.
IN REAL LIFE, Orden Safdie decided to write a play about a 20-year-old girl named Malina, who is filing a lawsuit against Ira Slatsky, CEO of The Standard (aka Dov Charney of American Apparel lololol.) Right away, why would I go see this play? Because it’s ALIVE.
Malina was played by Arlen Stewart, who was IRL the director of human resources at American Apparel when I worked for the company in 2010. I was familiar with her modeling. She was laughing, doing handstands in a tiled shower. SO THIS PLAY FELT VERY REAL.
Jonathan Silver did a fucking fantastic job as [Dov Charney,] in his mannerisms, his voice, his energy—more importantly, his appeal. Ira’s character was written to be monstrous. But he was also so loveable. It was portrayed beautifully by Silver. He had this hawt ripped hairy body, receding hairline, flamboyant hand gestures, and yet he played Creepy and Insane so very well! You could really admire the integrity and inventiveness of this character for sure. Silver executed believable justification to his radical belligerence, making for a very confusing case indeed.
Terribly confusing for all.
It seemed the characters were confused, the actors were confused, the audience was confused, the writer was confused. Only Dov Charney remains unconfused. Dov Charney the master of all things. Dov Charney the messiah.
One of my favorites lines was: “[Dov] convinced all of his family to buy shares and then they all lost their money.”
Laughter in the audience…
Laughter was strange. I was seated in a room of 30 people, mostly seniors, and in the first 10 minutes, it seemed like 6 people were consistently laughing in intervals of 2 minutes. Then from 20-40 minutes people were laughing more or less as a crowd. Small laughs at the end.
Also at one point I actually felt like I was going to vomit, thanks to Arlen’s on point delivery.
Everything was recycled from myths we’ve all heard in the news, and also things many of us have heard while working at the company. Morally, I think Oren Safdie did a fantastic job sieving through Dov’s persona. It was like The Wolf of Wall Street or Citizen Cane, you know… Ultimately, through the plot, and from the interview I read, it seems Oren Safdie is super spooked out about the influence of the fashion industry.
Through the writing, and Sarah Carlsen + Guy Sprung + Amy Blackmore’s directing and choreography, we saw a good mix of female and male perspectives together, I think. On one hand, yes, males are rabidly sexualized and want to fuck minors. Males are victims to this behavior themselves. On the other hand, females love fashion… have an immense cultural disadvantage in the workplace… and develop slower sexually… Malina’s character was aware of her sexual power and we saw her transition into a confident cutthroat young lady, which was cool.
At one point the lawyer asks her if she was ever molested as a child and Malina says something like: “Let me ask you a question, have you ever let your daughter crawl into bed with you during a thunderstorm, in the middle of the night, when she’s scared?”
He says: “Of course!”
My face: O___O
What did I derive from this? Malina thought of Ira Slatsky as a father? Like there’s nothing more beautiful than the trust between an older male and younger female who are not at all related? It is our social responsibility to protect children and teenagers?
Also, you have to admit he’s a talented entrepreneur. I like Dov Charney’s public persona. He was refreshing when he came out in the cultural reality TV show of life. I wanted to wear clothes that I knew came from a good source. I was really interested in fair trade when I was 17 and then American Apparel sprouted up and I thought it was SO KEWL!!!!!! But would I ever want to be in a hotel room alone with Dov Charney?
We all know people who were in sketchy situations with Dov Charney, I think. I think we can all pretty much testify that he’s a crazy fucking dude. He’s like a cult leader. He’s like the devil. He’s like a genius. We don’t know??? Alien???
“Dov won’t stop texting me.”
“Dov got me to eat a steak with his dog.”
“I watched Dov make a prostitute climb down ten flights of the fire escape to pick up money off the sidewalk.”
I was laughing in the play, but it was confusing, for sure.
The lawyer ends up having this weird backstory and it does become a strange father-daughter relationship morality play type of thing.
Malina is innocent and wants to make money. But her character flaw is that she’s dumb because she’s a minor. The writer made her very easy to hate, especially at the beginning, I thought.
Ira’s character flaw is that he’s childlike and undeveloped too, like he doesn’t really realize what’s going on all the time. He understands what’s going on from a larger, cultural perspective, but also very easy to hate.
It’s just the wackiest combination of vulnerabilities!
Ultimately: I can’t even believe this exists. It was a very, very trippy experience. So congratulations to the cast and crew for creating a strange multi-dimensional meta-reality event!!! Hopefully humans learn how to stop being so mean to each other.