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Monday, March 18, 2013

Anatomy of a Moment

Next Act performs Craig Wright’s dark comedy ‘Grace’

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Puerto Rico-born Craig Wright is probably best known as a television writer. The man who created “Dirty Sexy Money” has a Masters of Divinity degree from United Theological Seminary and is also a playwright. His dark contemporary comedy, Grace, gets a local staging early next month courtesy of Next Act Theatre.

David Cecsarini directs this tragicomic story, which starts with two murders and a suicide. The corpses rise and act out the last moments of their life in reverse order. The events we see at the beginning will be repeated at the end of the play 90 minutes later. The cast includes Libby Amato, who made a memorable appearance in In Tandem's The Nightmare Room earlier this season, and Rick Pendzich, who has made quite a name for himself in comic and musical theater over the course of the past few years.

The storytelling style ends up being an interesting deconstruction of the anatomy of a moment. We don't need to know who killed whom, but we will find out why the deaths in question happened in the first place. It's a neat, well-constructed script and it will be interesting to see what Next Act does with it. The company did a captivating job with a similarly nonlinear story in Stephen Massicotte's The Clockmaker just last month.

Next Act Theatre's production of Grace runs April 4-28, at Next Act's space on 255 S. Water St. For ticket reservations, call 414-278-0765.

Theatre Happenings

The Milwaukee Repertory Theater presents one of the greatest works of drama in American theater, A Raisin in the Sun, March 12-April 14 at the Quadracci Powerhouse Theater. For ticket reservations, call 414-224-9490 or visit milwaukeerep.com.

The Sunset Playhouse recognizes the legend of one of the most popular singers of an era with I Left My Heart In San Francisco: A Tribute to Tony Bennett. A group of singers perform the hits alongside narration by Susan Loveridge and Bob Hirschi, March 18-19. For ticket reservations, call 262-782-4430 or visit sunsetplayhouse.com.
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