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It's the end of the world, and it sure looks bleak and irritating

Wednesday, May 10 2006
It's the end of the world, and it sure looks bleak and irritating in playwright Jennifer Williams' "apocalyptic tragi-comedy," set in a future postwar America. In a bombed-out apartment complex (a set that looks as if it were cobbled together from a garbage dump), three displaced neighbors wallow in their paranoia and depression and try vainly to connect with one another. The Insomniac (Linda Ayres-Frederick) shuffles around in a dingy robe, shouting conspiracy theories, while next door the Singer (Lisa Marie Newton) belts out slow jazz classics and dances with a hammer. Meanwhile, upstairs, Man on the Top Floor dances with a framed photograph of his mother, rubs it on his ass, and then smashes it. It's a strange world filled with cartoony characters yelling loudly and banging around. Video projections of a televangelist/newscaster pop up here and there, spewing government propaganda and promoting a contest to be the "new face of God." With lines like, "We live alone and die alone, and when we're gone others will live here and do the same," Williams seems intent on creating a Beckettlike existential wasteland, but the final product feels underdeveloped and nebulous.

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Nathaniel Eaton


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