Straight Talking

Cormac McCarthy writes the kind of books — staunch, and filled with pure, cold drama — that were made for movie-making. No Country for Old Men was an Oscar winner that wedded taut writing with skilled acting and direction; the buzz on The Road, which opens later this month, is also promising. But the stellar wordsmith’s work seems equally at home on the stage, as evidenced by the success of the world premiere of McCarthy’s The Sunset Limited at Steppenwolf in Chicago.

While scouting works for the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company, Stephen Wietz found Sunset riveting. “I was attracted by the fundamental theatricality of it, which harkens back to theatrical roots of ancient Greece. It’s truly a dialectic debate of the large and monumental issues,” he says. “Most plays address big issues under the veil of a story. This play really addresses the biggest issues: It’s about life and death, belief and unbelief, and it’s all delivered in unvarnished form, with absolutely no metaphor.”

Cut to the chase: The Sunset Limited opens BETC’s season tonight at 7:30 p.m., with Wietz directing and guest actors Josh Hartwell and Alphonse Keasley leading the cast. Shows continue at the same time Thursdays through Saturdays and at 4 p.m. Sundays through October 24 at the Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut Street in Boulder; tickets are $18 to $22, with two-for-one offers on Thursdays. Find more information at or by calling 303-440-7826.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 4 p.m. Starts: Oct. 9. Continues through Oct. 24, 2009

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd

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