Fans of Hare, whose more overtly political works run the gamut from the early Plenty and Pravda to the recent Stuff Happens, may be surprised by the personal nature of this emotionally jagged if artfully calibrated chamber drama. There's a reference to Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and you might wonder early on whether Hare's corpus has been commandeered by, say, Nicholas Sparks. But the gloves come off in the second act, when Tom and Kyra's sentimental reunion turns into a sort of ideological Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? It is to Hare's credit that the materialistic Tom gives as good as he gets, zeroing in on Kyra's self-delusions as fiercely as she does on his. At the same time, the play makes it clear that Kyra has grown from a nubile young acolyte into a person in her own right, one whose conscience can no longer sit in insular comfort in the back of the limo.
At MRT, Towers fields a detailed production propelled by melancholy, pulsing cello. Christopher McHale captures the arrogance and explosive energy of self-made Tom, who's still chasing the tail of success even as he ignores that of self-knowledge. For the sake of balance, I wish he'd made his gray fox more vulnerable. But perhaps Amanda Fulks cornered that market; her determinedly unglamorous Kyra packs a raging reserve of sadness beneath the beatific political resolve. As Edward, Joe Lanza also folds a child's bewilderment into his man-on-a-mission house call. And in a lovely bookend acknowledging the siren call of comfort even for those compelled to reject it, Edward returns at the end bearing a care package that allows Kyra to wake up and smell the coffee.
, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Steven Barkhimer, Bill Clarke, More