The Washington University Ovations Series continued its 2011–2012 offerings with a performance by The Water Coolers, a company based in New York.
Sam Shepard shocked the sensibilities of American theater when his literary voice first was raised in the 1960s and '70s. At first specializing in absurdist works, his style evolved into an alternate realism, a landscape where emotions and thoughts are as exaggerated as the mythic value of the American West. Such is the setting of Curse of the Starving Class, the first of Shepard's trio of works about the destructive dynamics of a family dysfunctional with a capital 'D.' He followed that foray into family foibles with the Pulitzer Prize-winning Buried Child and the Gothic tale, True West.
The Washington University Ovations Series continued its 2010–2011 offerings with a performance of 500 Clown Frankenstein, by 500 Clown, a theatrical group out of Chicago. Taking over the University's Edison Theatre for two nights--the first night with their take on Macbeth, and the second with Frankenstein--the company offered the audience physical tomfoolery, flights of fancy, strange and inventive costumes, unlikely situations, faux physical abuse, and, in a word, nonsense. The results were interesting. Interesting, but not necessarily entertaining.