Hunter Gatherers at Actors Theatre: The Consequences of Extremes
|Cale Epps goes all alpha on Toby Yatso in Hunter Gatherers.|
Confidence runs both ways, and confidence is one of the big themes of AT's current show, Hunter Gatherers, directed by Ron May. Is it better to actually need your loved ones or to operate independently of them? Can you ride the pendulum all the way to both peaks within 24 hours? And is reproduction really the only purpose that ultimately matters to the universe? (Because that could be true -- like the existence of intelligent life on other planets -- and yet not really affect how you get through the day.)
The play raises a bunch of other interesting questions, but more than that, it takes us on a crazy but strangely believable ride. Somehow, though the events of Peter Sinn Nachtrieb's script sound over-the-top in the abstract, the author's grasp of cause and effect in human behavior is astute, making absurdity feel inevitable and even appropriate.
A lot of people have noticed that Hunter Gatherers echoes God of Carnage in many ways. They're both very funny and at least a little disturbing, they're both about a few purportedly social hours with two couples on the cusp of middle age, and they both highlight humanity's inner caveman.
The biggest obvious difference is that the characters in God of Carnage meet for the first time at the beginning of the play and they're kind of okay at the end, after everything they've been through. You can imagine everyone getting up the next morning and putting it behind them. (Though they might not.) In Hunter Gatherers, though, everybody's been acquainted since high school -- they even shared a wedding reception -- and by the final curtain, nothing is the same. 'Nuff said on that.
If you haven't been to see this show yet, don't let your eyes leave Angelica Howland for a moment. Her face and body impart a lot that you will miss if you aren't paying attention -- and some of it is simply priceless.
Hunter Gatherers continues through Sunday, January 15, at Herberger Theater, 222 East Monroe Street. Tickets range from $13.50 (student rush) to $37. To order, or for more info, click here or call 602-252-8497.