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Dead Heads 

A promising mix of genres that strains to tie things up at the end

Wednesday, May 21 2003
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Joe Besecker's latest play, based on a real Polk Gulch crime in the mid-'90s, involves a pathetic former porn star and the rich old queer who keeps him. There's a murder, and then a long drive to New Mexico and a stint in a seedy motel, where a young husband and wife count their money and worry about who's on their trail. The piece starts off as a promising mix of genres, Tarantino-meets-true-local-crime, but the twist at the very end is too clever; you can feel the playwright straining to tie things up. Treacy Corrigan is her usual excellent self as the weepy, excitable hippie writer and gun moll, Melody. (I keep seeing Corrigan in shows that are not quite up to her talents.) Christopher Slater also does well as Tim, the sullen former porn star, but Greg Lucey seems overwrought as the admittedly pretentious old queen. The play is also overwritten. "The secret to being a bore," Voltaire famously said, "is to say everything," and Besecker needs to control his characters' taste for self-explanation.

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