Sharp Critic: "Stage West’s Deer a brilliant, bizarre, inspired ride"

Sharp Critic: Christopher Soden, April 1, 2017  

It would be unfair and reductive to say “The Deer” is a metaphor for Ken and Cynthia’s famished, somewhat toxic marriage. [Playwright] Mark takes us down a number of bizarre and grotesque paths, finding humor in possibilities that are alarming and marvelously distasteful. Strangely enough, the more we play along with this creepy joyride, the more resonant and valid it feels. We laugh at Cynthia and Ken, acting out primal sacraments and petty retributions, and we feel the sting of loss as one watches while the other thrashes through lonely black waters. It feels like a jeremiad masquerading as shtick. Rage wrapped in velvety milk-chocolate. The gift of theatre as literature, of the complexity and ridiculousness of our humanity realized as spectacle, is permission to articulate through spontaneity and impulse. Deer channels sinister wisdom, the kind of frustration that fuels giddy, mind-bending humor.

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