It's hard to conceive of a more revolting tale than the one reimagined in Taste, Benjamin Brand's reality-based play about a pact between a man with cannibalistic desires and the willing victim he solicits on the Internet. At its core is the odd-couple polarity between Terry (Donal Thoms-Cappello), who listens to opera and loves gourmet cooking, and Vic (Chris L. McKenna), a miserably unhappy man who has arrived that evening determined to end it all, as painfully and graphically as he can. In addition to self-annihilation, Vic is searching for something else he's never experienced - a friend. It turns out that beneath his confident, take-charge exterior, Terry also is acutely wanting in that department. The juxtaposition of little-boy loneliness, prim narcissism and bloodthirsty obsession is absolutely fascinating. While you may be horrified, you yield as the piece transports you into dark and ghastly grottoes of the human psyche, transforming the inconceivable into the distinctly possible. Under Stuart Gordon's superbly understated direction, Brand's incisive script flows as naturally as if his subjects really were two anxious guys simply looking to bridge their strangeness. Things grow weirder and weirder, but the performers never misstep by overplaying, nor do they shed the humanity that draws us into their story.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: April 11. Continues through May 17, 2014 (Expired: 05/17/14)
Get the Things to Do Newsletter
Sign up for our weekly guide to events in Los Angeles, and never be bored again. With suggestions for every day of the week, our recommendations will keep you busy on any budget.