Beast on the Moon Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater) Image

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through June 6 2015

Michael Menendian's staging starts with a montage: photos, film, and news clippings depicting the 1915 genocide during which Muslim Turks murdered an estimated 1.5 million Christian Armenians by means that included crucifixion. It's essential viewing, both as an education in calculated savagery and as a preamble to Richard Kalinoski's drama about two survivors. Aram is a portrait photographer who hid while the rest of his family were beheaded; Seta is his "picture bride," whose mother was among the crucified. Married strangers, they struggle with trauma, their own and each other's. The plotting is pat and speeches strain for lyricism at times. But the ferocity of the performances goes a long way toward neutralizing all cliches. Matt Browning's Aram is one desperately messed-up refugee, while Sophia Menendian combines deep wounds with a powerful life force as Seta. —Tony Adler

Price: $15-$36

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