In the savage satire Retreat, prolific playwright Kat Sandler delivers a swift kick to the pin-striped ass of the corporate world. It's as smart as it is funny.
Four interns at a prestigious firm are dropped off at a rural corporate retreat where they're told only one will emerge with a full-time job. Soon they're scheming, lying and conniving to get their dream job, barely kept in check by a highly-strung camp counsellor named Candace (Kat Letwin) who's got a thing for awarding badges.
Sandler, who also directs, has great fun with the script's Apprentice meets Survivor meets Hunger Games premise. The actors are terrifically cast, Nicole Buscema and Justin Goodhand fleshing out their alpha figures with convincing arrogance and entitlement, and Michael Musi and Mara Zigler infusing their nerdy counterparts with believable wiliness.
The actors play their roles completely straight, allowing the laughs to come out of character and situation. The bloody climax is insane but credible - it's fuelled by alcohol, the appearance of a couple of dangerous props and a survival-of-the-fittest mentality.
All the script's elements - from one character's allergy to the mention of some unusual fauna in the area - pay dividends. And vivid use is made of the woodsy set, by Sandler and Claire Hill.
The play runs a little long, and the beginning and end could use tweaking, but good luck finding a more entertaining show this week featuring promising young actors and a timely anti-corporate message.