BRIGHT LIGHTS by Kat Sandler. Theatre Brouhaha. Tarragon Mainspace. July 1 at 8:45 pm, July 3 at 3:30 pm, July 5 at 6:30 pm, July 6 at noon, July 8 at 6 pm, July 9 at 11:30 pm. Buy tickets. Rating: NNNNN
When a new member joins a support group for people who have experienced alien encounters, dissent, fear and paranoia emerge. So does lots of laughter.
Kat Sandler‘s latest is sharply observed and very funny, sending up genre tropes while also digging deeply into loneliness and, well, alienation. As always, her dialogue for groups of people is dead-on, and the actors – better known for their comedy work (Amy Lee and Heather Marie Annis of Morro and Jasp, Peter N Chris’s Peter Carlone and Chris Wilson, sketch and improv ace Colin Munch) – deliver their lines completely straight and always in character.
And what characters! Wilson and Carlone are especially amusing as a dim, vain, former TV star and a man obsessed with having been probed four times. Lee does more subtle work as a smug pregnant woman.
Aspiring playwrights and directors could study the work’s structure and see how Sandler’s paced the production, which includes lots of surprises up until the entertaining climax. Only the denouement of this must-see show could be finessed.