Well they wrote a play about that guy. And by “they” I mean that guy’s cousin. And by “that guy” I mean the CEO of American Apparel Dov Charney. And his cousin in Oren Safdie.
In Oren Safdie’s latest play, “Unseamly,” a young girl who was sexually abused and harassed by the CEO of major fashion company The Standard goes to seek help from a lawyer who has a darker history than what would be told. CEO Ira Slatsky, played by Jonathan Silver, is a skeevy and conniving individual who is interested in making top dollar and attaining pictures of females that suit his needs. He manages to twist words around at every turn, arguing that his company gives illegal immigrants jobs as well as provides quality products for all to consume. Malina, played by Gizel Jimenez (who was also the choreographer and dance captain), signs up for a job at 17 to work in one of the stores, and somehow manages to find her way moving up the corporate ladder as she becomes closer with Slatsky. The story is told in flashbacks. It starts when she meets with Adam, played by Tommy Schrider, a lawyer at the end of his wits as to what he has to do in his professional and personal life.
I have mixed ideas about the play: on one hand, no one likes being in a room filled with misogyny the entire time, nor do they like being in room where that tension easily fills the air the entire time. And it doesn’t help that the theater holds tops thirty people and the actors walk down the aisles to the stage that is mere feet away from the audience.
It was very awkward, especially with the nudity. It just hits too close to home with the actual line of events. However, that was Safdie’s point. He wants us to feel that tension, that awkwardness and live through it. He wants us to make sure that we are quite aware of the harassment behind what is already publicized in the press, and uncover that secret.
It’s an off putting play, but it does do its job. If you want to be in a room filled with pauses and ill thought of moments, you can check out the play at Urban Stages at 259 W 30 Street, with performances going on until November 1.