The Injured Party
is Exhibit A from an excellent playwright (Richard Greenberg, Three Days of Rain) who is just coasting. Set in New York, it opens with a speech by a slightly fey, hoarse-throated young man named Seth (Reg Rogers). Seths family genetic and adopted stand around him in tableau on an elevated platform bordered by three walls that dont touch the floor. By having lighting designer Ben Stanton throw some lurid splashes of color onto those walls, director Trip Cullman makes it clear that were peering through the looking glass of Seths conscience and subconsciousness. Seths soliloquy so pregnant with irony, the guy looks ready to drop is an apology to his sweet, puddle-brained friend, Becca (Marin Ireland), for his inappropriate anger during a cab ride. What quickly emerges is a continuation of Seths ire toward his 94-year-old grandmother, Maxine (Cynthia Harris), who is wealthier than God, and whose needy eccentricities are partly explained by her ex-husbands necrophilia. At stake is her inheritance, while Seths future entitlement to it is confounded by her habit of adopting adult children, including flip-dod redhead Bettina (Caroline Lagerfelt) oblivious that all of those in Maxines circle is so aware of Bettinas kleptomania, they purchase inexpensive items for her to steal. Seth, meanwhile, is tormented by his grandmothers skepticism about his conceptual-art project, which is so far merely conceptual; he could make it happen if only hehad a small house of his own, instead of a simple apartment. Grandma could easily buy him a house, but is unmoved by his plight. As a consequence, he fantasizes about murdering her. Still, because its a bittersweet comedy, they do take nice walks in the park. Greenbergs play, ostensibly about the delusions of wanting and the inadequacies of having, contains some funny lines and overly familiar eccentrics who are really just bundles of nerves with a gift for repartee and a New York state of mind. Cullmans staging is extremely stylish. The play eventually settles onto Seth, Becca and their adopted child in a denouement that goes on for days. With magical snowfalls outside and inside the windows, were to infer that this is a mystical work about family and ennui, you know, like in James Joyces The Dead. Believe that connection if you want. I didnt. Tuesdays-Sundays, 7:45 p.m.; Saturdays, Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: April 25. Continues through May 11, 2008
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