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The Butcher of Baraboo

Marisa Wegrzyn's kitchen-sink comedy kicks off the Road Theatre Company's 20th season. Filled with colorful, mostly female characters, Wegrzyn's wacky slice-of-life snapshot is set in the small town of Baraboo in snowy, freezing Wisconsin. The loose plot concerns in-laws who feel no constraints expressing their sentiments. Beneath the prickly conversation lies a festering mystery: What really happened to Val's husband, Frank? He was pronounced dead, although no corpse was found. Frank's brother, Donal (Carl J. Johnson), and cop sister, Gail (the hilarious Rebecca Jordan), harbor suspicions that their sister-in-law, Val (Janet Chamberlain), did away with Frank, seeing as she's pretty handy with a meat cleaver. Val's grown daughter, Midge (Nina Sallinen), seems to be dabbling in nefarious activities, supplying local teen meth chemists with prescription meds. But it's Midge's interference with her uncle Donal's family life that causes her strife. Director Mark St. Amant beautifully stages his cast with a sure but subtle hand, eliciting superb performances and spot-on comic timing. Jeff McLaughlin's homely set is impressively realistic — right down to a working sink — and neatly fills the small space. Road Theatre Company at the Lankershim Arts Center, 5108 Lankershim Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Dec. 11. (866) 811-4111.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Oct. 8. Continues through Dec. 11, 2010


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