LATE: A Cowboy Song

Playwright Sarah Ruhl’s LATE: A Cowboy Song isn’t easy to describe. Like many of Ruhl’s plots, LATE doesn’t go in a straight line from point A to point B. There’s a woman, Mary, who has been in a stifling marriage to Crick for a long time. Mary meets Red, a female cowboy, and as their friendship develops something is awakened in Mary. Crick and Mary have an intersexual baby and are faced with assigning the child a gender.

“This play is hard to describe in an action-oriented synopsis,” agrees the show’s director, Bree Bridger. “The play is about Mary’s personal journey…and learning to ride a horse, growing close to Red and the struggles of understanding her intersexed [and gender-assigned] child’s future are all integral to that journey.” Bridger points out that LATE addresses topics that are more controversial than those in Ruhl’s other works and that it does so in very stark terms. “Ruhl approaches theater as a form of honesty, but…honesty does not necessarily mean realism. There’s wordplay, there’s mood whiplash, there’s romance, there’s horseback riding and cowboys singing under the big night sky.”

Bridger goes on to say the play, which is one of Ruhl’s less-produced works, is a quirky “drama told with warmth. The play deals with some dark... subjects…from forced gender-assignment surgery to domestic abuse, with a lot of sincerity. If the audience laughs — and they just might — it’s at the discomfort Mary has with some of her situations.”

8 p.m. November 14, 15, 20, 21 and 22. 14 Pews, 800 Aurora. For information, call 832‑463‑0409 or visit mildredsumbrella.com. Pay-as-you-can.
Fri., Nov. 14, 8 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 15, 8 p.m.; Thu., Nov. 20, 8 p.m.; Fri., Nov. 21, 8 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 22, 8 p.m., 2014

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Olivia Flores Alvarez