There is one play I've seen in my lifetime that has stuck with me more than any other. I talk about this performance almost every time I discuss theater with someone, because I retched and gagged my way through a scene in the play and had to leave the theater. Then again, I retched and gagged my way through scenes in Old Yeller, so maybe that's an unfair introduction to William Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, the epic tale of revenge, rape and murder in ancient Rome. The plot reads like something Bret Easton Ellis, Chuck Palahniuk, David Lynch and Hannibal Lecter came up with on an acid trip, and seeing it performed live requires a steely resolve and a strong stomach. However, those who stick it out are rewarded with a lyrical and truly ambitious examination of vengeance that provides a counterpoint to some of the playwright's fluffier flights of fancy. The gritty tragedy will be performed by the Kitchen Dog Theater and SMU's Meadows School of the Arts at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary, 3120 McKinney Ave., through May 16. Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, with additional performances at 8 p.m. this Wednesday and May 13 and 2 p.m. this Sunday and May 10. Tickets are $15 to $25 and may be purchased at kitchendogtheater.org.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sun., April 26, 2 p.m.; Wed., April 29, 8 p.m.; Sun., May 10, 2 p.m.; Wed., May 13, 8 p.m. Starts: April 17. Continues through May 16, 2009