By THE ENTHUSIAST
The depiction of (and sympathy for) Jud is the defining revelation in this consistently expectation-defying production. It’s easy to imagine Patrick Vaill’s Jud singing "Lonely Room" as the frontman for an emo band in a dive bar out in Portland. Dreamy. Creepy. Unlookawayable.
The chili you see simmering in big red pots on the tables in Laura Jellinek’s deliciously minimal set is served up with cornbread at intermission. Don’t share your bowl with me – people will say we’re in love.
Damon Daunno invests this Curly with a heapin’ helpin’ of Buster Scruggs – and then incarnates hollow-eyed dread in the wake of the play's climactic closing plot twist.
James Davis gives Will the galumphing charm of a grizzled, gun-toting Teddy Bear.
Ali Stroker makes it oh-so-easy to see why a traveler far from home would a) fall hard for her and then b) spend a fortune trying to get her back with her previous boyfriend. You go, cowgirl.
The Enthusiast (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the pen name of critic Michael Collins. He reports back only on what’s good, never what’s bad. But what he declines to praise can speak volumes.