Best Tour de Force
This loosely related trio of one-acts (Anton Chekhov's On the Harmfulness of Tobacco, Maria Irene Fornes's Dr. Kheal and Eugene Ionesco's The Lesson) explored knowledge's capacity to empower or paralyze. Propelled by Ed Baierlein's tour-de-force performance in each play, the evening was by turns hilarious, intriguing and frightening -- especially when Baierlein, who also directed and designed the production, turned the tables during a politically charged ending. Backed by a fine supporting cast, Baierlein's excursions into the swamps of academe re-established contextual fornicating as a favored -- and dangerous -- intellectual exercise.
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