Best Salsa Club

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Arts & Culture: In one of the final chapters of his book To Selena, With Love (out March 6), Selena's widower Chris Perez mentions that Abraham Quintanilla, his former father-in-law, once... By Enrique Lopetegui 3/7/2012
A Look Back at SA\'s Homebrew History

A Look Back at SA's Homebrew History

The Beer Issue: Homebrewing is a foundational American virtue. Not just Sam Adams smiling back from the bottle that bears his name—virtually all the... By Lance Higdon 10/15/2014

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email


Classic and Overtime Theaters serve up strange brews

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo

The cast of Classic Theatre’s Buried Child.

Look: Shepard is nearly impossible to pull off — he’s naturalistic in form but surreal in particulars, and to strike the proper balance is a guessing game. In my mind, the Classic Theatre relies too much on naturalism: very little is made of lighting or scenic effects and the ensemble generally plays the piece as a kitchen-sink drama. (A kitchen sink full of maggots, but a sink nonetheless.) This ultimately leaves the actors with very little wiggle room: As the play grows more and more poetic — a virtual oratorio of decay and disillusion — the actors seem to fight against the weirdness of text instead of reveling in its glorious strangeness. (With Buried Child, you might as well go for broke.) There are still moments of great power — the endings to acts two and three are among the most memorable in American theater — but it’s telling, too, that both scenes rely on visual surprises, not lyric ones. So this production’s three acts are a mixed bag: It’s a slow burn to the concluding parade of horrors, but there are pleasures (and legumes) unearthed along the way.

Next door, the Overtime serves up its own strange brew with Michael D. Burger’s “sci-fi dramedy” Life, or a Reasonable Approximation Thereof. The play starts off with a solid, Twilight Zone-ish conceit: An ordinary twentysomething discovers that his “life” is, in fact, an endlessly repeating single day, and that even minor alterations generate radical changes in this “life’s” trajectory. But whereas Twilight Zone episodes are models of narrative economy — 24 minutes of perfect pacing — Burger’s sluggish script meanders for two hours before finally expiring. When the playwright concentrates on the sci-fi basis of his drama — as when protagonist John anticipates the responses of every character in the room — there’s some fun to be had. Far too often, however, Burger overreaches and allows the action to bog down in clichéd and uninvolving conversations between friends and romantic interests. Joshua Thomas is fine as the increasingly erratic John (a cipher, one supposes, for the author himself); the four members of the supporting cast contribute various levels of over- and under-acting. Director Bryan Ortiz struggles to move the plot along, particularly in its more metaphysical passages; Rigel Nuñez’s attractive living room set is full of in-jokes that ought to appeal to Overtime regulars. (Check out the faux movie poster, for instance.)

One wants to support new work, but clearly the Overtime should have insisted that Burger’s Life be pared into a far sleeker one-act play — or at least a reasonable approximation thereof. •

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus