You could say every one of John Harveys plays takes place under a big, dark sky. The local playwrights staged works are spectacularly grim, and his characters endure some pretty gruesome physical and emotional pain. Harveys ROT, for instance (our Best of Houston® pick for 2007s Best Original Show) featured incest, a man suffering from the plague and the systematic, gradual embalming of a living child. His new piece, presented by Mildreds Umbrella Theater Company and titled (appropriately) Under the Big Dark Sky, is more along the same lines. It promises a bodiless boy, a woman who flays herself alive and a three-headed barking dog. Harveys seaside-town setting gets a visit from a bizarre carnival, whose barker may be hiding something radioactive in his trunk, and a religious fanatic is performing some unspeakable acts upon corpses in his basement. Yep, sounds like Harvey Land to us. 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and Monday, April 25. Through April 30. Barnevelder Movement/Arts Complex, 2201 Preston. For information, call 832-463-0409 or visit www.mildredsumbrella.com. $15.
April 21-30, 2011