All the Living Room’s a Stage

Have you ever been at a restaurant, talking with a friend, when you sense suddenly that the table next to you is quieting down and obliquely tuning in? As you realize this, you probably pipe up your voice, expand your gestures and laughs, and begin acting. So it’s obvious: audiences, even eavesdropping fellow diners, turn us into performers.

As Americans, we’re all actors: “Have a nice day” is a cue to exit, sidewalkers look like extras, and voicemails carry the subtlety of soliloquies. In The Fourth Wall, a satiric play by A.R. Gurney, a well-heeled couple from upstate-New York extrapolates this American impulse toward banal theatrics to its maximum. The wife, deep in mid-aged panic, resets the furniture in the living room, strips a wall bare declaring it “an audience” and a nearby window into “another world.” Her husband and friends begrudge the change, but they get drawn in; soon they’re staging their relationships and singing Cole Porter selections in front of the wall.

The Fourth Wall opens at Palm Beach Dramaworks (322 Banyan Blvd, West Palm Beach) tonight at 8.00 p.m. Tickets cost $40. Call 561-514-4042 or visit www.palmbeachdramaworks.org.
Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: Dec. 21. Continues through Feb. 3, 2007

 
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