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"Three Viewings": Theater Review 

Wednesday, Jan 12 2011
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You walk into a chapel, you sit, and when the lights go out, you listen to three grieving people — one at a time — tell you how the person they loved most died and what they did to go on afterward. It's a powerful way to spend an evening, especially since Three Viewings, a series of interlocking monologues produced by Theatre Anew, is at its best when its protagonists are at their worst — their most lost, their most uncertain, their most confused before the undeniable silence of the grave. Jeffrey Hatcher's script is unconvincing when describing people's ordinary lives, but his characters grab you by the throat when they move out of their comfort zones. Diane Bailey (who also directed) is a standout in the final monologue, and the setting — the play takes place in the beautiful Presidio Chapel — is better than any set design could be. Three Viewings is short, about 90 minutes, and few moments are wasted. The characters may not know how to make the most of their time on earth, but the show — the only thing that must go on — knows exactly what it's doing.

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Benjamin Wachs

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