Out Cry even worse than its source material

Even the best Tennessee Williams plays present a problem for actors: So much of his dialogue is so overripe that unwitting performers can be sucked into a camp vortex that transforms mannered tragedy into farce. And that's in his good shows. His bad ones — such as the 1973 stinker Out Cry: The Two-Character Play — are almost sure to leave both actors and audiences in a state of severe Southern discomfort. Out Cry concerns Felice (Oleg Liptsin) and Clare (Felecia Faulkner), sibling actors who find themselves abandoned by their theatrical troupe; they proceed to act out a two-person play that's supposed to sound improvised. Out Cry offers almost zero dramatic interest, unless you think of it as an unfortunate example of the playwright's late flirtation with absurdist drama. (Imagine Beckett's Vladimir and Estragon decked out in feather boas after too many mint juleps, and you're about halfway there.) Liptsin directs himself in this International Theater Ensemble production — a production that is, almost miraculously, even worse than its source material — and he and Faulkner attempt a kind of overlapping banter that is probably intended to create a kaleidoscopic effect. But the result is closer to incoherence. By the time Clare shouts "Out! Out! Human outcry!" at the end of the second act, you're likely to feel her pain.

 
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