Altar Egos

In 10:10, four weddings, two funerals add up to one hot new play

As Ward's alter ego, the living Jane, Kortney Porter looks nothing like Ward, but it doesn't matter. She holds nothing back in her encounters with Tom Heard as Randy Yesterday. Stripped to their underwear, they do some very nifty sheet wrestling. Heard, by the way, bears a strong resemblance to Anthony Edwards, the hot, baldheaded Dr. Green from ER.

Halim Jabbour doesn't have much to do besides pace and sweat in formalwear as Randy in a Tux, but he has some good moments with Dead Jane as they re-enact some of their characters' wilder fights and most sexually charged embraces. For once, actors look like they're really into kissing each other. They're almost too hot to watch in such close quarters.

Leave it to a woman playwright to get the sex right. In 10:10 there's a memorable moment toward the end, when Lulu Ward as Dead Jane buries her face in Jabbour's white tuxedo shirt. As every woman knows, sometimes it's not movie-star good looks, flat abs or expensive cologne that are the biggest turn-ons. The trigger can be something as basic and elemental as the smell of a just-showered man in a clean starched shirt. The expression on Ward's face as she performs this tiny, sensual act with Jabbour is simply sublime.

From here to eternity: Tom Heard and Kortney Porter pay forever for their misguided love affair.
From here to eternity: Tom Heard and Kortney Porter pay forever for their misguided love affair.

"Time present and time past are both present in time future. And time future is contained in time past," wrote T.S. Eliot. In 10:10, the playwright takes the time to play with time, to send the Randys and Janes hurtling back and forth over their past, present and future. How Vicki Cheatwood managed to get all this into a 70-minute script is remarkable. In this efficiently told story of a great love affair, there's not a second wasted.

WaterTower Theater in Addison has announced a lively lineup for next season. The first production, opening in October, is the area premiere of Donald Margulies' Pulitzer Prize-winning play Dinner With Friends, a poignant four-hander about the changing dynamics between two married couples. That will be followed by the regional premiere of the bluegrass musical The Spitfire Grill, based on the film about a mysterious woman who rejuvenates a small Wisconsin town when she moves in and takes over the diner.

Also on WaterTower's schedule next season: the old J.B. Priestley mystery An Inspector Calls; Stephen Sondheim's Company, the 1970s Broadway musical hit about love, lust and commitment; Michael Frayn's rollicking three-act backstage comedy Noises Off; the annual Rockin' Christmas Party musical revue; and the one-man show The Santaland Diaries, based on essays by David Sedaris. Season tickets for WTT's 2003-'04 season can be purchased by calling the box office at 972-450-6232.

Kitchen Dog Theater has four diverse titles on its 2003-'04 schedule. First up in September is the area premiere of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, the flamboyant gender-bending rock musical by Stephen Trask and John Cameron Mitchell (who also starred in the film version). Award-winning actress and director Tina Parker will direct that one. Then in November comes The Danube, a dramatic vision of the future of the world by Cuban-American playwright Maria Irene Fornes. Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing and Samuel Beckett's classic absurdist drama Endgame round out the season. KDT also will host its annual New Works Festival next May. For subscriptions to the five-play season, call 214-953-1055.

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