Neil LaBute’s dark, dark ‘Bash’
Utah theater • “Bash: Latter Day Plays” takes on uncomfortable themes in high theater style.
Published: May 3, 2012 08:56AM
Updated: May 3, 2012 08:56AM
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Allen Smith is the "young man" in Neil LaBute's "Bash," May 4-11 at Holladay City Hall in a production by Holladay Arts. Courtesy Courtesy Beth Bruner

“Bash: Latter Day Plays” is a trio of monologue performances by Neil LaBute with lowercase titles in an almost macabre dramatic vein. It’s not the sort of theater you want to conjure for a first date. But it is the sort of theater that’s bound to start conversation, or even an argument.

It all starts with “iphigenia in orem,” about a man who suffocates his daughter—to death, naturally—after the slightest of workplace rumors that he might lose his job. In the second installment, “a gaggle of saints,” we watch as the young couple of John and Sue move through the motions of engagements all without speaking to one another, and only after John helps beat a gay man to death in Central Park. Finally, in “medea redux,” we hear from a young woman who relates a sexual relationship with her high school teacher that bore a child. In true LaBute fashion, and after she’s married, she visits the home of her teacher to describe how she murdered the child.

Mini dramas of infanticide and gay bashing aren’t everyone’s cup of strong tea, but neither is LaBute. If your tastes tend toward these all the same, you might want to get a stiff belt of bourbon afterward so you and your date can get a little pit of post-theater peace.

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“Bash: Latter Day Plays”

When • May 4-11, 7 p.m.

Where • Big Cottonwood Room of Holladay City Hall, 4580 S. 2300 East, Holladay

Info • $5-$10. Call 801-953-3250 or visit www.holladayarts.com