David Mamet's Edmond, by Infernal Bridegroom Productions
There is no worse time to go to the theater than that seven-week period so innocently referred to as the holiday season, a time in which playhouses all over town prove that they can be as money-grubbing as the next tawdry business. Just look at all the lame productions of A Christmas Carol that begin trickling over the musty boards somewhere in mid-November. It's enough to make you want to boo those wretched Crachits off the stage once and for all. Thank heavens for Infernal Bridegroom Productions. Only they had the cojones and the artistic spine not to mount yet another insipid production about the joys of giving just so they could get their share of the holiday dough. Instead of sweetness and light, IBP's December production of David Mamet's Edmond pounded with a coal-black darkness that must have been inspired by the devil himself. The savage and demonic theatrical production -- all about the absence of meaning in our modern world -- was everything that most holiday shows are not: astonishing, riveting and utterly thrilling. And the lessons it taught about narcissism, greed and the violence of living were more meaningful than anything any ghost -- past, present or future -- could shake a chain at.