God’s Ear

A new play about a husband and wife coming to terms with the death of their child—sounds like a miserable evening of theater. But, strange to say, Jenny Schwartz’s God’s Ear is actually a lot of fun. It’s an inventive, unpredictable fairy tale in which drag queens, the tooth fairy, and G.I. Joe all appear as characters alongside regular grieving people. I was lucky enough to catch the play’s off-Broadway run in New York, where it received rave reviews. And for good reason. Schwartz repeats words and phrases in a hypnotic way. The play’s odd joy is quirky and trancelike, like listening to a Feist CD on repeat. (The show also has songs.) This is theater for hipsters who, blessedly, don’t try to be clever. It feels young and alive and new. Roger Benington directs this West Coast premiere (which runs through Nov. 10), starring Michael Place and Mary Bliss Mather as the central couple. [See Brent Aronowitz's review here.] Washington Ensemble Theatre, 608 19th Ave. E., 325-5105, www.washingtonensemble.org. $10–$18. Opens Oct. 10. 8 p.m. Thurs.-Mon. Ends Nov. 10. FRANK PAIVA

Mondays, Thursdays-Sundays, 8 p.m. Starts: Oct. 10. Continues through Nov. 10, 2008

 
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