Stanley Bennett Clays drama about guilt, anger and repression centers on a trial stemming from 14-year-old Thaddeus (Tory Scroggins) false accusation of molestation against his dads charismatic gay best friend, Mr. Drake (Clay). After prison time and sizable civil court reparations, Drakes tried to move on after 10 years, though his reclusive digs hint of a life forever divided into Before and After. When Thaddeus, spurred by a range of secret motives, drives up for their first confrontation in a decade, their bourbon-fueled talks quickly escalate from civilities to tirades. Clay has the foundation for a play about modern-day witch-hunts and the wounds of loneliness. At present, however, its a series of traded speeches where the two men keep reversing their arguments. Clays direction feels hemmed in; still, as the dignified drunk, he has a bitter hauteur, while Scroggins more layered and contradictory role results in the young actor coming across as swaddled and stiff. The scenes with the the most frisson come when alcohol and anger spur both men to fling slurs that undercut their moral authority and allow us to question each ones self-image as the victim.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: Oct. 3. Continues through Nov. 9, 2008