Favorite

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Unseam'd Shakespeare's Mad Honey

Posted By on Wed, Jul 14, 2010 at 12:57 AM

"It's a terrible thing to hate someone you love so much."

The honey of this play's title is literally an hallucenogenic, potentially toxic stuff that first one character,then a second, nicks from the Iliad. But this is an Amy Hartman play -- a darkly comic, tragic romance -- so "mad honey"is also a metaphor for love.

"I want to eat his letters. I'm so hungry for them."

Hartman's characters are usually lonely -- desperately so. In The Chicken Snake, Disinfecting Edwinand Mad Honey, they're so desperate that they lie, kidnap, steal babies and kill; they blackmail the objects of their love for requital.

"The perfume of his sour breath made me drunkand greedy."

Hartman is a poet of this sort of naked desire, and her poetry is fully on display in this world premiere, directed by Robin Walsh. The whole cast -- Autumn Ayers, Paul Ford, Laurie Klatscher, Matt McNear, Maggie Ryan -- is fine. But one small detail really struck me. Watch Klatscher's character, a repressed schoolteacher whose only family was a boy dropped on her doorstep whom she can't bear to surrender. Klatscher plays comic neuroses with wonderful precision, but there's real pain here: Her character never looks at another character, even when she's talking to him or her. The moment that finally changes is striking, but it's a long and painful road.

"I was in love once -- a love so fierce it stole my life away."

The Chicken Snake, at Pitt's Studio Theatre, concludes with four more performances, nightly through Sat., July 17 (www.unseamd.com).

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Listings

Submit an event

Latest in Program Notes

© 2015 Pittsburgh City Paper

Website powered by Foundation

National Advertising by VMG Advertising