Knife Edge Productions Presents
IN A DARK DARK HOUSE
By NEIL LaBUTE
NEIL HOLLAND, DAVID BECK, and KRYSTAL TAVAREZ
Directed by SAM HELFRICH
Jeffrey and Paula Gural Theatre at the A.R.T./New
502 West 53rd Street (off Tenth Avenue)
December 6 – 21, 2019
Neil LaBute’s IN A DARK DARK HOUSE creates tension from the first line uttered and doesn’t let up until the final word has been pronounced. This is a story of secrets kept within families and the resultant consequences. Younger brother Drew (David Beck) finds himself in a psychiatric hospital and has called upon his older brother Terry (Neil Holland) for some assistance in getting out. Communication of any meaningful measure is not their forte. As the truth is cajoled, threatened, physically beaten, and guiltily coerced, it is clear that childhood memories have had a huge (and often disastrous) effect on both men.
IN A DARK DARK HOUSE is not only a powerful portrayal of the lasting consequences of abuse, it is also a fascinating study in sibling rivalry, revenge, stunted growth, survival, and the need for security. Excellent performances by Beck and Holland capture the complexity of their characters; Krystal Tavarez rounds out the cast as yet another offshoot of questionable behavior. While the dialogue serves and succeeds to create tension, it could be tightened up. It is clear within the first few minutes that there is something wrong and that these brothers have trouble interacting with each other; the repetitive back and forth is a bit tedious but nonetheless doesn’t dilute the ultimate message.
- Laurie Lawson -