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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 25, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 47
Audiences should engage in Reckless behavior
Arts & Entertainment
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Audiences should engage in Reckless behavior

by Miryam Gordon - SGN A&E Writer

Reckless
Theater Schmeater
Through December 17


An engaging new production at Theater Schmeater flings itself headlong into action without thinking. An early work from Craig Lucas, Reckless quickly establishes a lovely woman's adoration of Christmas, as Rachel (Alyssa Keene at her shiniest) gets ready for bed on Christmas Eve. Quickly, though, her life is torn apart.

Improbably, her husband regretfully informs her that he's taken a contract out on her life! Rachel is shown to be such a sweet and loving woman that we also find it hard to believe. But once having established it to be so (the sound of breaking glass is heard elsewhere in the house), Rachel crawls out into the snow on her roof, and runs away.

Lucas' play breaks every conceivable norm of family life by having Rachel get into a stranger's car and ride into the night, never to return to her two very young sons. Yet Rachel never becomes bitter or depressed, choosing instead to take what life has presented and ride along. The title of the play reflects both the choice of husband Tom (Matthew Middleton) to decide to kill his wife (with no reason ever given) and Rachel's journey.

It's as if Lucas is asking, 'What if we just did what was in front of us without thinking? What would happen?' Rachel happily finds the stranger, Lloyd (Carter Rodriguez), and his deaf wife, Pooty (Megan Ahiers), accepting her as is and inviting her to live with them. Eventually, we find out that they, also, are not what they seem, and both have run away from their terrible pasts.

In every situation Rachel finds herself in, she wants to make life better for herself and those around her. When she finds out Lloyd owes back child support and doesn't know how to pay it, she finds a way for them to get on a television game show and win a huge prize - more reckless and improbable behavior.

Director Carol Roscoe keeps the pace humming with the assistance of ensemble actors Ben McFadden, Samie Detzer, and Tracy Leigh. The sliding panels set by Michael Mowery resembles the inside of a snow globe, though it's an understated presentation. Shaking snow globes is a subtle theme to the entire play. Solid costume choices by Julia Evanovich, sound by Larry A. Ryan, and lights by Dave Baldwin support this fanciful play.

The production is very watchable, even if the motivations of the characters are a bit bewildering. Typical of earlier plays, the script seems to have two endings, with the first one being the best. After years of changes, Rachel has become a psychologist, and a young woman comes for an appointment who resembles an earlier Rachel. There could have been a satisfying ending there, but Lucas decides he has to wrap up all the loose ends he's produced over the course of the two acts, and keeps writing. You may have a good time discussing the ending after the show, deciding what it all stacks up to. But you'll likely have enjoyed the unexpected journey that you couldn't have imagined would occur when you sat down at the start.

For more information, go to www.schmeater.org or call 206-324-5801.

Discuss your opinions with sgncritic@gmail.com.

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