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Chicago Style Beef & Dogs

6680 W. Colfax Ave.
Lakewood, CO 80214

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: West Denver Suburbs

Under Milk Wood. Described by author Dylan Thomas as a play for voices, Under Milk Wood creates a day in the life of a teeny backwater of a Welsh coastal town called Llareggub ("buggerall" spelled backward): the inhabitants' fantasies and memories; the ghosts of husbands abused and lovers lost; stories of love misplaced, sustaining faith and rage unsated; the dreamlike poetry of the slow procession from dawn to dusk to night. "Time passes," someone instructs us at the beginning. "Listen. Time passes." Over time, you meet an astonishing cast of characters, from the sweet and somewhat simple Reverend Eli Jenkins to Mr. Pugh, who wants to poison his cold, critical wife, to Mog Edwards and his beloved Myfanwy Price, who communicate only in yearning letters even though they live in the same town. There are also Mrs. Ogmore Pritchard, who does nothing but clean, dust and put things in order, and sleeps at night between the resentful ghosts of her two deceased husbands, and Polly Garter, who has conceived many children by many different men while continuing to mourn her one true love, Little Willie Wee. The best way for a director to deal with this glorious tumble of words is to get out of the way, which is exactly what Ed Baierlein has done. His staging is clean and skillful, with just enough action to keep things moving. Under Milk Wood bears comparison with those other tone poems of country life, Edgar Lee Masters's Spoon River Anthology and Thornton Wilder's Our Town; all three are pieces deepened and sanctified by the presence of the dead. But there's also a wild sense of comedy here, and an unfettered poetic imagination — even if harnessed to the mundane details of daily life — that could never be matched elsewhere. Presented by Germinal Stage Denver through March 21, 2450 West 44th Avenue, 303-455-7108, www.germinalstage.com. Reviewed February 25.

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