Demonology" is a wickedly chilling little comedy chronicling a man's destruction or, possibly, self-destruction, depending on whether one believes the demon that brings him down is real or a figment of his imagination. Even the victim isn't quite sure.

Demonology” is a wickedly chilling little comedy chronicling a man’s destruction or, possibly, self-destruction, depending on whether one believes the demon that brings him down is real or a figment of his imagination. Even the victim isn’t quite sure.

Problems begin for De Martini (Rocco Sisto), a fastidious management type in a giant corporation that makes baby formula, when Gina (Marisa Tomei) arrives from the temp agency. She’s a good worker but takes a lot of breaks, running to the bathroom with her breast pump to collect milk for her infant daughter. De Martini offers to get her free formula, but Gina prefers the real thing.

In an unguarded moment, De Martini, who has been succumbing to Gina’s charms, gets his hands on one of her milk containers and swallows down the contents. There suddenly appears, amid ominous sound and light, an impish child with devil’s horns and spooky voice. A guilt-ridden manifestation or a demon’s trap? Is Gina the serious career woman she appears to be, or possessed by a demon? Or maybe she’s a saboteur working for anti-formula terrorists.

Playwright Kelly Stuart displays confidence as she tightens the screws on De Martini. Tomei’s Gina is adorable, sexy and scarily bizarre, usually by turns but occasionally all at once. It comes as no surprise that De Martini both falls for her and fears her.

Sisto does a fine job transforming his character from control freak to freaked-out. Bray Poor adds a nice manic touch as a lecherous co-worker. Director Jim Simpson’s only misstep is in giving 9-year-old Kathleen Glaudini (as the young demon) more acting responsibility than she can handle.

Set designer David Harwell has created a maze of an office that adds to De Martini’s confusion. And costumer Therese Bruck earns a big laugh for the rather unique nursing bra she’s designed.

Demonology

Production

A Playwrights Horizons presentation of a play in two acts by Kelly Stuart. Directed by Jim Simpson.

Crew

Sets, David Harwell; costumes, Therese Bruck; lighting, Anne M. Padien; sound, Michael Clark; music, Mike Nolan; production stage manager, Leila Knox. Artistic director, Tim Sanford. Opened Nov. 10, 1996, at the Studio Theater. Reviewed Nov. 7; 72 seats; $ 15 top. Running time: 1 HOUR, 30 MIN.

With

Cast: Marisa Tomei (Gina), Rocco Sisto (De Martini), Bray Poor (Collins), Kathleen Glaudini (A Child).
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