Chekhov never said that a box cutter introduced in the first act should wind up in someone’s jugular, but maybe he would have been driven to such extremes if he’d spent enough time trapped in the soulless exurban setting of Angus Maclachlan’s “The Radiant Abyss.” Maclachlan’s play begins with sex, ends with violence, and in between devotes a fair amount of histrionic speechifying to religious fundamentalism and the general decline of the world into anarchy. The antiheroic saga of security guard Steve Enloe (Eric Burgher) three-timing his ditzy and overworked girlfriend Ina (Whitney Schaffer) with manipulative property manager Erin (Carolyn Klein) and an unseen fifteen-year-old, “The Radiant Abyss” leavens its Mamet lite with murky suggestions about a new church encroaching upon Erin’s strip-mall fiefdom. Director Darrell Cox keeps the pace moving swiftly in Profile Theatre’s production, while Klein blends a chilly authority with barely suppressed rage in her portrayal of Erin. But the play is hampered by its essential silliness and the casual brutality of its characters. Its labored attempts at shock deliver only a muted impression, because the action on stage, for all its brand-name efforts at realism, never achieves more than a passing resemblance to the behavior of real people. (John Beer)
This production is now closed.