Thursday, June 05, 2008

This Is A Cowboy Poem My Daddy Taught Me

photo: Stephen M. Price

This new play starts out as if it's one of those "long night of hard booze and hard confessions" dramas of the middle of the American desert variety, as a mysterious stranger named Love convinces a bartender named Scrappy to pour her a few on credit. But the lyrical, engagingly structured play (by Katie Bender) soon reveals a theme (about the ability of art to change lives) that isn't usually seen with characters like these in places like this, and it's also soon clear that the play is on a course that steers clear of formulaic melodrama. Although the staging doesn't meet all the challenges of the problematic playing area, the production does an admirable job of creating an environment that allows Bender's heightened dialogue to play out intimately. Ultimately, it's a play that leaves its mark by seeping in slowly, gently, surely.

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