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The Smell of the Kill

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Three husbands get stuck in a meat locker, and their not-so-loving wives — earthy Claudia Shear, caustic Lisa Emery, and the dumb/funny Jessica Stone — ponder letting them freeze into Popsicles. This strident black comedy, written by Broadway tyro Michele Lowe, might have functioned as a Thelma & Louise-like cry against male oppression. But the men (whom we only hear off stage bullying and boasting) are such exaggerated stereotypes, this battle of the sexes feels too facile. It doesn’t help that the dialogue is a laundry list of suburban gripes as entrenched as John Updike and marital woes as old as Ethel Mertz. There are a few laughs. But as a slice of devil’s food, the play is never rich enough to become seductive.

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