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Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013

Time and Drama with Next Act

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The plot has been compared to Kafka, but there are elements that also echo the work of Philip K. Dick and quite a few others. The fact of the matter is that it is about time. "It," in this case, happens to be Stephen Massicotte's The Clockmaker. A mild mannered maker of clocks is brought before a bureaucrat to answer for crimes he may or may not have committed. (That would be Kafka.) During the course of the interrogation, it becomes apparent that the crimes he is associated with may not have happened yet. (That would be Dick.) The story that ensues involves the same types of things that are common to many dramas—love, heroism and intrigue. That it also plays out in multiple worlds makes it something more than the usual sort of drama.

Mary MacDonald Kerr directs the Milwaukee premiere of the drama at Next Act Theatre. Kerr is an accomplished actress who also happens to be a remarkably thoughtful director. Here she's got the opportunity to work with a fascinating story that's just outside the realm of the usual fare found in stage drama. Once again Next Act has chosen a piece that seems both challenging and accessible.

The Clockmaker
runs Jan. 31-Feb. 24 at Next Act Theatre, 255 S. Water St. For ticket reservations, call 414-278-0765. Theatre Happenings

Waukesha Civic Theatre continues its season with the classic J.B. Priestly mystery thriller An Inspector Calls, Feb. 1-17. For ticket reservations, call 262-547-0708.

Off the Wall Theatre's most interesting offering this season, Patrick Marber's 1997 drama Closer, concerns complicated sexual and social dynamics from an earlier era of social networking. The show runs Feb. 7-17 at Off the Wall's intimate space at 127 E. Wells St. For ticket reservations, call 414-327-3552.

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