By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
The real star of this play is scenic designer Scott Osborne's authentically, extravagantly ugly set. His cross section of a trailer home looks as if it's been sliced in two by a twister. Shreds of pink insulation peek from the rooftop. The filthy orange shag carpet seems to glow with mildew. In every scene, the boxy TV set, complete with tinfoil-wrapped rabbit ears, blares in the background, airing funny car races, game shows and late-night preaching by the cosmically strange Dr. Gene Scott--a perfect detail.
Killer Joe is killer good.
This all-student production, directed by faculty member Rhonda Blair, features especially smooth performances by Sebastian Kadlecik as Nora's stuffy husband, Torvald, Weston Davis as the oily banker who loaned Nora money on the sly and R. Brian Normoyle as Doctor Rank, a dying physician in love with Nora. Only Nora, Kara Torvik, doesn't seem right. Should Nora, one of the great female characters in Western drama, really be played as a bubbleheaded ditz? Torvik is a lovely actress, but her Nora comes across as a bustle-wearing, Norwegian Lucy Ricardo, scheming to cheat her hubby, the doctor and the banker out of a few more dollars for a new hat. She's hysterical, shrieky and too, too silly.
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