By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Why does it always feel like a fluke when Theatre Three does something as polished and well-acted as Enron? The play by Lucy Prebble is running now at the theater-in-the-round at The Quadrangle in a spiffy production directed and designed by Jeffrey Schmidt.
Like last year's staging of Aaron Sorkin's Farnsworth Invention, also directed by Schmidt, Enron takes a complicated real-life story — how the Houston energy-trading company ended up exposed as a multi-billion-dollar fraud — and breaks it down into scenes that explain, amplify, satirize and dramatize the facts.
Dallas actor Chris Hury plays Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling (who's still in prison, by the way) with a sexy fury and volcanic bursts of energy. David Goodwin is his partner in crime as CFO Andrew Fastow, the evil genius who created Enron's "shadow companies" to hide billions in debt that would damage Enron's rising stock price. "I think we've discovered the future of business by accident," he says in the play. His "raptor" corporations are played by three puppet dinosaurs, one of this production's many clever visual pops.
Tickets to Enron offer a better ROI than the company's investors got.