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Love Among the Graves 

Wednesday, Jul 4 2007
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Ian Walker, who's considered one of the Bay Area's most promising emerging playwrights, starts his play, The Gravedigger's Tango, with what would appear to augur a darkly comedic plot all the way through. A man named Trick, a cow-tipping, trailer-trash sort, is set to exhume a bunch of graves but comes face to face with the sinister, club-wielding cemetery caretaker, Laszlo, in the process. A midnight confrontation between a redneck and a creepy custodian seems like enough material on its own for a lighthearted farce, but Walker isn't about meeting superficial audience expectations. The play offers an intricate triptych of three stories -- that of Laszlo and Trick (who's actually Trick's girlfriend in disguise); of the real Trick and his girlfriend Claire; and of the dead Isabella, whose star-crossed tale of love with a doctor begins in a windswept region of the English moors. The tropes seem unmistakably Shakespearean, what with the intertwining tales, graveyard revelations, and gender-bending, but Walker's keen sensitivity to relationships and the powerful manner in which he excavates issues like mortality and euthanasia ground the play in the realm of the distinctly modern.

About The Author

Nirmala Nataraj

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