In writer-performer Michael Kass' solo show, Ceremony, he depicts himself as a pathetic, all-around loser, until a bizarre series of encounters seems to be telling him that he must try the Peruvian drug ayahuasca. When he's dumped by his current lady-love, he impulsively books a flight to Peru and arranges to participate in a shamanistic ceremony to imbibe the ayahuasca potion. After all, he thinks, with a drug that tastes foul, makes you throw up and disables your cerebral cortex, what's not to like — if it leads you on a voyage of self-discovery. He's a curious blend of gullibility and skepticism — and thus avoids an overly reverential attitude that might seem merely gaga. On a bare stage, assisted only by a healthy sense of humor and a collection of multicolored plastic pails, he shows us the frightening but ultimately enlightening ayahuasca ceremony. There's nothing more difficult than conveying a transcendental experience, but Kass approaches it with a feisty, bumptious charm and considerable narrative skill. He may not make you want to rush out and try his drug of choice, but at least he takes us on an interesting ride, deftly shaped by director Diana Wyenn (who, in full disclosure, has dealt with L.A. Weekly frequently in her public relations work for REDCAT).

Thu., May 16, 8:30 p.m.; Sat., June 8, 1 p.m.; Thu., June 13, 11:30 p.m.; Sun., June 23, 1 p.m.; Wed., June 26, 10 p.m.; Fri., July 12, 8 p.m.; Fri., July 19, 8 p.m.; Fri., July 26, 10 p.m., 2013

LA Weekly