"What happens on the porch stays on the porch," says Duck, a former high school gridiron star now in his 30s and sensitive about his expanding paunch. His penchant for rabid, error-ridden gossip belies that philosophy. One lurid item puts April in an Astrovan with a bare-assed Bill in a parking lot behind the Winn-Dixie. When Fred finally does come home, strung out on Jim Beam and peyote buttons, he's pulled into the vortex of suspicions whipped up by Duck. By the time it's all straightened out, all of their relationships have taken U-turns.

Pluck the Day, which Second Thought premiered in their first season as new Baylor grads in 2004, has undergone some rewriting and updating by Walters (now there's an "it gets better" joke, among other pop culture references). Walters finds plenty of humor in how men's friendships change with age and in the shorthand BFFs speak in after years of swapping the same stories. "Why is it every day with you feels like middle school?" asks the smart one, Bill, to Duck, who admits his IQ is somewhere in double digits.

Walters loves wordplay, starting and ending Pluck the Day with two characters filling in crossword clues. He has a fine ear for quirky combinations of syllables that just sound funny, too. Like this from Duck: "It's Sunday. I don't have to be on the emu farm till Monday morning."

Ashley Wood and Cindee Mayfield sweat out their demons in Contemporary Theatre's The Night of the Iguana.
George Wada
Ashley Wood and Cindee Mayfield sweat out their demons in Contemporary Theatre's The Night of the Iguana.

Details

The Night of the Iguana continues through March 4 at Contemporary Theatre of Dallas. Call 214-828-0094. Pluck the Day continues through February 26 at Bryant Hall (next to Kalita Humphreys Theater). Call 866-811-4111.

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On the emu farm of young playwrights, Walters can count Pluck the Day as a feather in his cap.

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