Cracker kingdom

Jeeter Lester lives and leers on in Theatre Three's over-the-top Tobacco Road

Speaking of the audience, it's interesting to note that this material, so dated in some ways, is still unsettling enough to provoke mixed reactions from theatergoers. Are we supposed to laugh at the Lesters, find them appalling, or both? The audience isn't sure. Some people guffaw when Jeeter gropes his own daughter, while others turn away in disgust. As Voltaire remarked, "To the thinking man, life is a comedy; to the feeling man, a tragedy." Caldwell, one surmises, was a thinking man and a feeling man.

Tobacco Road runs through February 11 at Theatre Three. Call 871-3300.

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