Spotlight: Woyzeck

Josh Cragun

If you want a piece of counter-holiday programming, check out the latest from Nimbus, which centers on the growing madness of a German soldier living in a tiny, wind-swept town and ends with an explosion of violence. More than just sticking it to December's forced mirth, Woyzeck offers a look into a confused mind that is brought to full life by Zach Morgan. While the piece is often intentionally obtuse, with layered dialogue, confused action, and a squeaking floor that sometimes obscures the words spoken, the central plot is clear. Woyzeck is a dirt-poor soldier who makes extra money any way he can to support his girlfriend, Marie, and infant son. That means being browbeaten while giving his captain a shave or taking part in humiliating experiments, including eating nothing but peas for weeks on end. It is Marie's wandering affections for a handsome drum major that eventually completely unhinge his life. As with most Nimbus productions, the audience has to do plenty of work to fully engage in the piece. That's aided considerably by Morgan, who plays the character as a good man trapped in a deep cycle of poverty, always running from moment to moment to try to keep above water. Tara Lucchino and Andrew Sass also do good work as Marie and the Drum Major, while Charles Numrich brings the quack doctor to maddening life. The acting in other places is more variable, and the script, a translation of Georg Buchner's original by Carl Richard Mueller, leaves the majority of the characters as mere enigmas rather than people. $10-$15. 1517 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612.548.1380. Through December 17

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