By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Now, that's about as clear as the plot breakdown gets. Early on, Durang goes into the surreal world, introducing a three-voice laugh track that interrupts the live actors. The voices eventually get bored and become a Greek chorus, commenting on the play. Then suddenly, the trio appears in the flesh and starts directing the onstage events, demanding that characters do increasingly vile things--the American id personified.
Jokes fly about incest, rape, child abuse and other high crimes. There are references to spree killer Andrew Cunanan and manhood pruner Lorena Bobbitt. Penises are juggled. A character's head goes missing. The F- and C-bombs drop like party balloons. The chorus hoots and taunts, asking for more fresh meat from Betty et. al. When a character thrills the threesome, he or she is nominated for a People's Choice Award.
"It's all your fault, Mother,'' Trudy moans of the hideous goings-on. "And Oliver Stone's fault for making Natural Born Killers.''
Arriving amid the post-Janet/Justin madness, Betty's Summer Vacation is a wickedly bitter reminder of the deeply marked-down price of outrage these days.