Life and Beth
When one half of a long-married couple passes away, we tend to take it for granted that the survivor will endure an almost unbearable period of mourning. Readjusting to life as a single person, conventional assumptions dictate, is just too sorrowful to contemplate. But is it possible that death can also bring liberation, allowing the survivor to create a life free of compromise? Such a notion is brought to mind by playwright Alan Ayckbourn's free-spirited comedy Life and Beth. The third work in Ayckbourn's Things That Go Bump trilogy, Life and Beth is infused with an irreverent humor that contrasts sharply with his two earlier pieces, Haunting Julia and Snake in the Grass. Rather than meditating grimly on the nature of mortality, Life and Beth draws exasperated laughter from the story of a widow who would be perfectly content to spend Christmas alone in lieu of enduring the intrusion of family and friends who refuse to believe that she isn't secretly miserable without her husband. As if tolerating the living wasn't frustrating enough, a whole new challenge arrives with the ghostly emergence of her late spouse, now determined to micromanage his wife's life from beyond the grave. Presenting the show's area premiere, Theatre in the Round Players suggest that the phrase "'Til death do us part" sometimes conveys far more relief than grief. (Image copyright Act One Too, Ltd.)
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: March 22. Continues through April 14, 2013
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