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This Whore is good filthy fun 

Wednesday, May 21 2008
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John Ford's 17th-century tragedy 'Tis Pity She's a Whore takes an exuberant interest in taboo and revenge. It isn't a prim play. The plot concerns a coquettish maiden who gets knocked up by her amorous brother; at show's end, the dead pretty much outnumber the living, and somebody's heart has been skewered on a dagger. It would be a mistake, however, to invest any of this with high seriousness — the play is always aware that its lavish bloodletting borders on slapstick. What a relief, then, to find that Impact Theatre's production is just as cheerfully sleazy as its source material. Under the freewheeling direction of Melissa Hillman, this is not a particularly polished show. Still, the fights are scrappy, the deaths are messy, and the cast members are young, attractive, and eager to rip off each other's clothes. The first act is stronger than the second, in part because Jai Sahai, as Bergetto, dies extravagantly just before intermission. This guy is such a font of rapid-fire comic invention that the world will be a slightly darker place if he doesn't achieve some form of major stardom. 'Tis Pity is good filthy fun, but if you sit in the front row, beware: Experience dictates that you might just get blood splattered on your shoes.

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Chris Jensen

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