The K of D, an Urban Legend

In her Ohio ghost story, first staged two years ago at Balagan Theatre, playwright Laura Schellhardt's storytelling prowess is nothing short of magical, but it's sublime acting by Renata Friedman and inventive stagecraft by director Braden Abraham that make this clever dramedy work so well. Sitting on an abandoned dock, clutching her skateboard, teenage Charlotte (Friedman) begins to detail the mysterious goings-on collectively known as "The Summer of the Death." It's impossibly cheesy and delightfully creepy all at once—about as believable as a snipe hunt, yet told with wide-eyed certitude. Playing over a dozen parts in this one-woman show, Friedman creates each small-town schemer and skeptic with unique vocal inflection, speech cadence, and body language. By the second act, you have a good idea of who's about to speak by simply watching her posture shift. And Abraham makes sure that her bravura performance never distracts us from the mood of a great yarn being told with high style. (Opens Jan. 19. 7:30 p.m. Wed.-Fri., 2 & 7:30 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Ends Feb. 20.) KEVIN PHINNEY

Wednesdays-Fridays, 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays, Sundays, 2 & 7:30 p.m. Starts: Jan. 14. Continues through Feb. 20, 2011

 
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