An unholy marriage of Dennis Cooper and M. Night Shyamalan, Stephen Cone’s new play “Just Wanderer,” premiering at the Bailiwick, tells the story of a haunted ex-cop who takes the standard route to laying his demons to rest: retreating to a lonely cabin to write his memoirs. A lonely cabin may not be the worst place for him, actually, given that his wife habitually leaves videotapes of herself having sex with other men for him to find. The basic problem with “Just Wanderer,” as I hope is becoming clear, is that it takes place in the Gamma Quadrant, with characters that look like human beings but act in ways I have trouble recognizing. They spend a lot of time underlining themes, for instance: ex-cop Anthony insists on the importance of the law, haunted drifter Max wants to find the childhood he never had. Anthony’s response to an unexpected knock in the middle of the night? “I didn’t order a pizza.” David Zak’s direction finds all the energy it can in this piece; lightning flashes and thunder crashes as half-naked Max swings from the rafters. But neither Zak nor his valiant performers are able to overcome the essential silliness of Cone’s ungainly script. (John Beer)
This production is now closed.