Loading...

Invasion of the Minnesota Normals 

Thursday, Mar 6 2008
Comments
In Jen Ellison’s play, which might be titled Waiting for Roy, Ruth McKinley (Deborah F. Reed) plays hostess on a rainy night in a 1950s Chicago suburb. As the guests arrive, they remark on the absence of her husband, who is still at work, but nonetheless kick off the evening with liberal amounts of liquor, snide chitchat and questions from a personality test that Roy had brought home a few days earlier. The “game” begins innocently enough, with Walter (Rich Hutchman), Stanley (Peter Breitmayer) and Helen (Anne von Herrmann) reading questions and attempting to answer them truthfully, but it quickly degenerates to reveal simmering hostilities. As the evening wears on, the questions become more pointed, especially when new neighbors from Minnesota arrive and it’s discovered that Robert (Brad David Reed) and Mary (Judy Heneghan) were part of the test’s control group. Tensions escalate, and secrets come to the fore, as the definition of “normal” is questioned, cracking the veneer of domestic Midwestern tranquillity and revealing its dark underbelly. Melissa Denton’s deft direction keeps multiple balls in the air, and Troy Wilderson’s beautifully naturalistic set, complete with a “rain window,” adds to the feeling of claustrophobia in the pressure cooker of the living room. The entire cast give great performances, truly eliciting the suburban discontent in a play that is reminiscent of the works of both Tennessee Williams and Edward Albee. Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: March 15. Continues through April 19, 2008

Related Stories

  • Food Recall

    A Minnesota company that makes peanut butter, cheese spreads and dips and salsas has recalled all its products - yes, all of them - for possible Listeria contamination, according to Food Safety News. Even better, the Parker Farms products were distributed nationwide and sold at places such as Whole Foods, Target,...
  • SoCal Meets Old World: Stone Brewing Co. and Green Flash Announce Plans to Brew in Europe

    This summer has been full of interesting expansion news from several California breweries, including Lagunitas in Petaluma — which recently opened a Chicago tasting room — and Sierra Nevada, which has an expansive North Carolina brewery that is already releasing product. But none of the announcements made in the last...
  • Teacher Rejection 3

    In a landmark decision handed down today, Judge M. Rolf Treu has declared five statutes in the California education code to be unconstitutional. The Vergara v. California ruling is sure to be appealed, and may make its way to the state supreme court. But for now, the reverberations will be felt...
  • Drive Cool 6

    The 4th of July is that time of year when we beat our chests with pride about America, share hot dogs and beer, and whistle at men and women in boardshorts and bikinis. It's all good. Except if you're on the road.  Safeco Insurance conducted a survey recently and concludes that...
  • Paying Jay Z's Price 3

    We hate to be a Debbie Downer, but Mayor Eric Garcetti's claim today that a two-day, Jay Z-curated concert on the streets of downtown would "inject millions of dollars into the Los Angeles economy" is dubious at best. It appears that most of the revenue from $155, 2-day passes for the...

Related Content

Now Trending