By Elaine Liner
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Joe Nemmers cringes convincingly under Day's threats, but he is somewhat less authentic during the last scenes of the play, when Shepard compels Austin to get falling-down drunk. Feigning intoxication well requires a tricky application of concentration, and unfortunately Nemmers falls into the same trap that many actors do. He renders drunkenness as a floating, flailing disorientation rather than the five hundred pounds of dead weight it is. A drunk man tries too hard to do everything, puts too much emphasis on the world around him in his struggle to function. Nemmers moves like he is on the verge of levitation. It sounds like a persnickety distinction, but it adds a certain gravity to the portrayal of alcohol-fueled despair.
Perhaps if director David Irving had choreographed the actors to a quicker, more staccato beat--say, cool rhythm guitar rather than a series of emotional solos--this production would feel rawer, more dangerous. With True West, the Dog flashes some sharp teeth, but never leaves the porch to follow through on the threat.
True West runs through March 23. Call 871-