Walking home from a performance of “Brutality of Fact, ” Keith Reddin’s 1994 satiric drama about a Jehovah’s Witness fanatic and her dysfunctional family of sisters, I was approached by a young woman. She was dressed in Gap casual—tiny T-shirt, flip-flops and a skirt—and I figured she was going to ask for the time, or directions, or something equally innocuous. Instead, she thrust a magazine under my nose and asked hesitantly, “Would you like a copy of the Watchtower? There’s a very good article in here on the government.” Shit. It was that damn outfit that threw me off—she looked so, well, normal. This was actually the first time I’ve ever been approached by a Jehovah’s Witness on the street, and the fact that I had just seen a play in which a character also attempts to pass out copies of the Watchtower gave the situation a tasty irony that was amusing for about five minutes. Too bad my reality was more entertaining than this Eclipse Theatre production. Director Nathaniel Swift has a good handle on Reddin’s comedic-sardonic rhythms and the play’s dream sequences have a nicely absurdist quality. But if it weren’t for the presence of Julie Daley as Maggie, the alcoholic, Daria-esque “fornicator” whose life is quickly unraveling, this production would be entirely flat. When Daley isn’t on stage, you start to notice just how drab this production really is. Chris Corwin’s ugly and unimaginative lighting design doesn’t help matters much, giving the production a cheap, community-theater look. Sometimes Eclipse knocks ‘em out of the park. But when this troupe misses, boy do they miss. (Nina Metz)
This production is now closed.