Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Most Damaging Wound

Talk about range: Blair Singer's The Most Damaging Wound opens with a stream of curses and a flood of alcohol, builds from frenzy of casual crudeness into a series of subtle emotions and then--while still propelling itself through some wild antics--puts its hand on the pulse of Male Maturity, and keeps it there for ninety of the best minutes you'll spend in a theater. Chris Thorn delivers an impressive performance as he uses liquid courage to swing his character from comedy to drama and back again, and his energy helps to pull the entire play along, not that the rest of the cast, with their ease and real camaraderie, really needs much needling. Much of that credit must be laid at Mark Armstrong's feet: the best directors are the ones whose touch is invisible, and even with the actors just feet away in this intimate space, I didn't notice a bit of blocking. The theater needs more of this honest naturalism, and less of the bullshit machismo you'll find in a Neil LaBute play.

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