“Tennessee Williams has outdone himself.” That's hard to fathom. Consider the sexual tension, violence, and outright denial of A Streetcar Named Desire. Consider the years of blatant family dysfunction and sexual repression operating on multiple levels in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Consider the violated social and religious taboos in The Night of the Iguana. Now consider The Two-Character Play. Felice and Clare are brother and sister, a playwright and actress on tour. They've been abandoned by their company in an unknown theater. The audience is expecting something. So they make the best of a play by Felice. It's about a brother and sister, who've witnessed their parents' murder-suicide and have lived as recluses since the incident. The play is about their attempt to re-engage with the world – just walk out their front door – or else kill themselves. As the play within a play develops, it becomes less clear what's real and what's not – and more clear that Felice and Clare are facing their own demons and in fact letting them fight. Critics weren't that nice to Williams when this play debuted, and he revised and even renamed it. Regardless, it remained the playwright's favorite. It's in the capable directing hands of John Fisher of Theatre Rhinoceros, who has a history of writing and directing works that look taboos and demons in the eye. We can't wait to see what he does with this one.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Jan. 4. Continues through Jan. 15, 2012