Orange Flower Water | Raven Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Orange Flower Water Closing (Theater and Galleries) Member Picks Recommended The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through June 9 2013

Craig Wright's play of domestic dysfunction contains one of the most excruciating onstage depictions of marital sex I've seen. Kathy (Cyd Blakewell) seduces Brad (Keith Neagle), the husband about to leave her for another woman. The raw intensity of the scene, which takes place on the singular set piece—a queen-size bed—manages to evoke both the ephemerality of love and the selfishness of pleasure. Director James Yost's staging reveals the hostility and aggression that underlie desire; Kathy doesn't want to keep Brad, she wants to degrade—or is it destroy?—him. Either way, Blakewell's emotional journey is one of the show's high points. Yost keeps all actors onstage throughout, heightening the feeling of ambient suffocation imparted by married coupling. Wright's script doesn't have much new to say about marriage, and the ending, with its moves toward closure, feels particularly cloying. Still, this expert BareBones and Interrobang coproduction appeals far beyond its climax. —Suzanne Scanlon

Price: $25


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