Joseph Heller’s 1961 novel remains a classic look at the madness of war. Steep Theatre’s current production of Heller’s own theatrical adaptation cannily exploits the company’s gift for ensemble work. The limited performance space actually works to the production’s advantage, heightening the sense of madcap energy. “Catch-22” dramatizes the plight of Yossarian, a bombardier trying to opt out of flying more missions: in the famous catch, the way to get out of missions is to prove that you’re crazy, but trying to get out of missions is a sure sign of sanity. But Heller’s play frequently strays from the central situation to show the appallingly mad antics of assorted officers and enlisted men, and, to less effect, to follow Yossarian’s romantic entanglements with Italian prostitutes and American nurses. G. J. Cederquist’s direction keeps the action moving at a snappy pace. He might have exerted more control over some of his performers; Heller’s comedy is broad enough already, and overplaying at times leaves the play seeming cartoonish. One admirable exception is Trey Maclin, whose pitch-perfect performance in several of the most diabolically lucid supporting roles accounts for some of the production’s finest moments. (John Beer)
This production is now closed.