Sunday, July 06, 2008

Scenes from an Execution

Photo/Stan Barouh

Under all his imagery and poetic devices, at heart, Howard Barker is a lot like Galactia, the realist center of
Scenes from an Execution. This painter's calculating logic is matched by the playwright's argumentative tone: just as her paintings are said to sweat, so has it been necessary for companies to wrestle with his plays. It's a pleasure to see Potomac Theatre Project, under Richard Romagnoli's direction, bring such demanding art to life. It's also thrilling to see Jan Maxwell as the harried martyr, David Barlow as a comic actor with depth, and Alex Draper as a charismatic villain: for those who are afraid of Barker's work, this is the best chance you'll have to look, rather than to just see.

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