Conspiracy theorists love it when they're right, and they might be right about big medicine, at least according to playwright Bob Clyman's The Secret Order. The play opens just as Dr. William Shumway, a brilliant but naive young researcher in the Midwest, may have found the cure for cancer. An older and more cynical doctor, Robert Brock (who has twice been passed over for the Nobel Prize), lures Shumway to New York with promises of help and funding for his work, but Brock has more malevolent reasons for his generosity (duh, he wants to steal Shumway's research!). When Brock cuts the funding for other projects to funnel money Shumway's way, the other scientists revolt and the backstabbing begins. Secret Order has plenty of plot twists, politics and power plays as it follows the group of doctors walking the ethical tightrope known as high-stakes medicine.
Here's some theater trivia for you: All four actors in Secret Order are making their Alley debut. Broadway actor Dylan Chalfy appears as Shumway, with Larry Pine reprising his role as Brock (he played the sinister doctor in last year's New York production). Melissa Miller and Kenneth Tigar also appear.
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The play officially opens on Wednesday, October 29, but you can catch it in previews until then. 8 p.m. Fridays, 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Sundays, 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Through November 23. The Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. For information, call 713-220-5700 or visit www.alleytheatre.org. $40 to $55.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Oct. 24. Continues through Nov. 23, 2008