Melancholy Play

Melancholy Play stirs sexy with sad and adds a twist of absurdity. The comic production by Sarah Ruhl (who penned the Pulitzer-nominated The Clean House, which was staged last year at the Alley) stars Tilly, a bank teller whose ho-hum personality attracts both boys and girls. A love quadrangle ensues as a psychiatrist, a hairdresser, a tailor and a nurse all vie for Tilly’s affection. (Ruhl apparently knows how to keep an audience’s attention: girl-on-girl, nurse action.) Everything comes to a halt when Tilly moves out of her melancholic state. The lovers either become disinterested or assume a depressed state themselves, but remember — this is a comedy. Characters may be shedding tears, but they also draw laughs as they react to Tilly’s depression and sudden happiness. Frances the hairdresser gets so down she turns into an almond — literally. See how the others go nuts at 8 p.m. daily through February 26, with no show on February 24. Hamman Hall, Rice University (Entrance No. 20 off Rice Boulevard). For tickets and information, call 713-348-7529 or visit $5 to $10.
Feb. 21-23, 8 p.m.; Feb. 25-26, 8 p.m., 2008
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Dusti Rhodes
Contact: Dusti Rhodes