Flesh and the Desert

If Las Vegas can boast of one timeless axiom, it's that the house always wins. Sure, a small percentage of players are fortunate enough to walk away with flush pockets, but any such profits are afforded by an endless shuffle of losing hands. Despite the adverse odds, of course, millions set out to score a piece of Sin City each year, intent on being the lucky one to win a jackpot. Contemporary playwright Carson Kreitzer's latest work, Flesh and the Desert, explores an equally enticing side of gambling by using Las Vegas as the setting for three couples wagering on their relationships. Interweaving the stories of each pair, the play suggests that no monetary gamble can match the emotional stakes raised by desire and devotion. Far from moody introspection, however, Flesh and the Desert is embellished with all of the mythic history of Las Vegas, incorporating showgirls and gangsters into an intoxicating narrative blend (not to mention the blindingly sequined presence of such luminous glitterati as Elvis Presley and Liberace). Directed by Ben McGovern for Workhaus Collective, this world premiere further stacks the deck by assembling a talented cast of local performers. Las Vegas may epitomize precarious fortunes, but this work makes a compelling case for rolling the dice in spite of the odds. All tickets pay-what-you-can; $18 suggested price. The production is in preview Thursday, January 19 and opens officially on Friday. (Image by Aaron Fenster)
Mondays, Thursdays-Sundays, 8 p.m. Starts: Jan. 20. Continues through Jan. 28, 2011

 
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