Trending
MOST READ
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
Best River Walk Restaurant

Best River Walk Restaurant

Best of SA 2012: 4/25/2012
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
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
Veg Out with Earth Burger

Veg Out with Earth Burger

Food & Drink: “Do you want cheese on that?” “Yeah, sure.” “Vegan or organic?” “Um, what? Where am I?” By Jessica Elizarraras 7/23/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Theater

'Six Degrees of Separation': Sometimes the stranger is closer than blood

Photo: Dwayne Green, License: N/A

Dwayne Green

John O'Neill as Flan Kittredge


Inspired in part by a real-life incident in which a young black man charmed his way into the homes of wealthy white New Yorkers by pretending to be the son of a famous actor, John Guare's Six Degrees of Separation explores the strangeness of the people we are related to, and the mysterious recognition that can spark between strangers. The play opens to a scene between Ouisa Kittredge, an Upper East Side hostess, and her husband Flan, a private purveyor of expensive art. Both are excitedly telling the audience about an amazing incident.

Geoffrey, a diamond-mine-owning friend, is visiting from South Africa, and Flan, being short on the price of a Cezanne painting, is desperate to borrow two million dollars from him. But being timid about transgressing the limits of friendship, Flan finds himself reluctant to get to the point, when suddenly the doorman delivers a wounded young man to their door. He introduces himself as Paul, a friend of their children (two at Harvard, one at Groton), and the victim of a mugging. He is also, he says, the son of actor Sidney Poitier. Paul's supposed status, his wit and erudition, and seeming fondness for his new-found friends helps clinch the painting deal. As Paul, who has been tended to lovingly by Ouisa, is about to leave with the intention, he says, to wander about till his father's arrival next morning, he is asked to instead spend the night, and is given fifty dollars as a "commission." In the morning, to the Kitteridge's horror, Paul is found in bed with a gay hustler. All pandemonium breaks out. They later find out that their friends have also received the young man into their homes, using the same ruse, and what's more, that Sidney Poitier has four children, all daughters. Though unmasked, Ouisa still finds herself caring for the so-eager-to-please young stranger, so polite and different from her own scornful children.

Presented in the beginning as farce, before the 100-minute single-act play nears its nervous conclusion the Kittredges have left off light banter to try to attempt some sort of understanding. While Flan, played with brittle humor and indignity by John O'Neil, refuses to acknowledge their intruder as anything but a con artist, Paul, played superbly by newcomer Justin Keown, remains constant throughout the turmoil, charming and optimistic, even when the suave operator finds himself falling into a trap. Among the 17 characters that crowd the stage, Ouisa, played by Anna Gangai, travels the greatest distance, from affluent snobbery to compassionate fear. But she has to; in a sense, it is her play.

She tells the audience, "I read somewhere that everybody on this planet is separated by only six other people. Six degrees of separation. Between us and everyone else on the planet. … It's a profound thought. … But to find the right six people."

Six Degrees of Separation
$10-$25
8pm Fri-Sat, 3pm Sun
The Sterling Houston Theatre
108 Blue Star
(210) 589-8450
classictheatre.org
Through February 26

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