Recent Tragic Events

This 2003 play from Craig Wright, one of the Six Feet Under writers, yokes together some well-worn theatrical tropes (a blind date; a second act of drinking and long-winded philosophizing) with some breaking-down of the fourth wall and a few other post-mod gimmicks, then sets it all on the night after September 11. In her Minneapolis apartment, advertising exec Waverly Wilson wavers between anxiously obsessing over her sister in New York, whom she hasn’t heard from since the attacks, and allowing herself to be diverted by her date and other guests. The result is a bit of a jumble, without the clear vision or psychological complexity of Wright’s earlier Orange Flower Water. But the pacing’s just right in this Unbalancing Act production, which is at least never dull, and often quite funny. Using 9/11 as an occasion to wonder whether our lives are somehow predetermined is, at least, not the most predictable of artistic responses. As the Kramer-esque neighbor, Jack Hamblin is having the most fun onstage and carries the show, while the twitchy nervousness of Jennifer Hamblin’s Waverly goes from engaging to wearying. There’s just not enough to her. Ryan Sanders conveys the weak-willed diffidence of Waverly’s date, Andrew, almost too well; he’s more pitiful than comical. Kim Fitzharris brings an essential dry humor to the evening in her small role. MARK FEFER

Fridays, 7 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: March 12. Continues through April 4, 2010

 
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