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Heartbreak House: Self-Absorption as the Bombs Start to Fall

It's 1914 and England is in on the start of the first World War. Not so that you'd especially notice that in the household of Captain Shotover where his daughter Hesione Hushabye is hosting a dinner party. Guests include Ellie Dunn, who is engaged to one man but in love with Hesione's husband Hector. Her father and her fiance round out the main players.

Thanks to Main Street Theater we're entering George Bernard Shaw farce territory here - albeit with less optimism than usual - as members of British society ignore the coming disaster of the European war that became WW I while carrying on in their usual state of self-absorption.

Charles Krohn plays the captain in Heartbreak House and describes his character as " a guy who has more or less retired from the human race as much as one can with two grown married daughters. He's a guy who's very strong in his beliefs." When the captain sets himself apart from other people it's not so much that he doesn't like them, Krohn says, but that he "is reluctant to become part of a race that he sees is marching toward their doom."

And despite the confused condition of these characters, Krohn finds: "here's a humanity in the play that's sometimes just beneath the surface." Rebecca Greene Udden directs the three-act play.

Heartbreak House opens May 8 and runs through June 1. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays. Main Street Theater, 2540 Times Boulevard. For information call 713.524.6706, or visit MainStreetTheater.com. $20-$39.

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