Saturday, November 23, 2013
It's an intriguing play by one of the hottest English-language playwrights of the moment, cleverly staged in an old chain burger place in the Waterfront.
Despite his acclaim, British playwright Jez Butterworth hasn't had too much exposure in these parts — previously, to my knowledge, just a 2009 Point Park REP production of his first play, the gangster drama Mojo .
The three-character Parlour Song indeed suggests a playwright worth more time on local stages. It's a funny, insinuating and ultimately quite sad portrait of suburban loneliness, the quiet (or noisy) desperation we attempt to paper over with cheerful grins, fitness schemes, work and possessions.
Organizing metaphor: All of protagonist Ned's stuff is disappearing, each birdbath by stuffed badger. Thus does Butterworth take his characters into existential terrain without every brushing against pretense.
Butterworth is also said to be writing the script for a feature film about The Clash.
Here's Colette Newby's review of Parlour Song for CP. Of particular note is the show's staging in an old Pittsburgh Burger Company restaurant, the paneled half-walls and such eerily echoing any shoddy new subdivision you care to name.
Parlour Song has two more performances, at 8 p.m. tonight and 7 p.m. tomorrow. Tickets are $46, available here.