Soaring from the sewer

Undermain swoops for delicious comic lows in The Deatherians

Selecting highlights from performances as first-rate as this is a random bit of business, but here goes. Bruce DuBose and Jenni Tooley are exquisite as what constitutes this play's romantic leads, but the supporting characters provide the most memorable ammunition for John O'Keefe's rapid-fire comic sensibility. Rhonda Boutte is deliciously seedy and insinuating as the pimplike Jerry, who keeps Dr. Krator on a short leash because of his desire for Morivia. Greg Gormley, so extravagant in his many lead roles with Classic Theatre Company, is nearly unrecognizable here in a fine-tuned performance as a snivelling psychiatrist with a hilarious brain disorder. Cameron Cobb is effective in his scenes as an intellectually challenged henchman for the raving Hatherdal, but nothing prepares us for his delicate turn as a porn star with a taste for tobacco and intimidation. When Cobb approaches Bruce DuBose on a street corner, we don't know whether he means to proposition or assault his fellow actor, and he maintains that tense, beguiling ambiguity throughout the scene. It's a remarkable piece of work.

The Deatherians is just as obscene as any rumors will likely describe, and if the playwright can't quite lift his powerful themes out of the sewer he so memorably creates, Undermain actors lend capable wings to the cause.

The Deatherians runs through November 23. Call 747-5515.

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