Salvage

The title of Diane Glancy's drama refers both to the play's setting in an auto-salvage yard and the larger struggle Native Americans face in reclaiming their dignity and traditions in the White Man's world. Glancy's work also confronts the turmoil that can erupt among native peoples when their rage against that world is taken out on each other. While driving home with his father to his small-town yard on the Blackfeet reservation in Montana, Wolf (Noah Watts) accidentally hits another car, seriously injuring his father, Wofert (Robert Owens-Greygrass), and the family in the other vehicle. But the other victims' clan has a history of bad blood between Wolf's family, and when one victim dies, Wolf and his kin become targets of vengeance. With Wolf's devout Christian wife, Memela (Elena Finney), counseling restraint and Wofert seeking wisdom from his late wife's spirit, Wolf tries to avoid the "us against us" battle, but it tragically overwhelms him nonetheless. Glancy structures her play into all too brief scenes that pique then deflate our interest and at times she displays a penchant for clumsy exposition. While Owens-Greygrass' performance is steady, Sheila Tousey's direction results in mostly melodramatic histrionics from the tentative Watts and Finney. Autry National Center, 4700 Western Heritage Way, L.A.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 &.8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; through Nov. 23. (866) 468-3399.
Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 2 & 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Oct. 31. Continues through Nov. 23, 2008


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