Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Parker at Loose Ends: Craig Lucas's Reckless Doesn't Ignite, despite the Presence of Mary-Louise Parker

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Parker at Loose Ends: Craig Lucas's Reckless Doesn't Ignite, despite the Presence of Mary-Louise Parker

Article excerpt

Reckless * Written by Craig Lucas * Directed by Mark Brokaw * Starring Mary-Louise Parker * Biltmore Theatre, New York City, through December 12

Do we ever really know another person?" That's the question that runs through Craig Lucas's Reckless, and Rachel Fitzsimmons (Mary-Louise Parker) has every right to ask it. On Christmas Eve she's hoping her husband will gift her with rite puppy she's been hinting about; instead he tells her the crash she hears downstairs is the hit man he's hired to kill her. Escaping through the snow in her nightgown, she hitches a ride with a guy named Lloyd (Michael O'Keefe) who's run away from his own life and set up house with a deaf-mute paraplegic named Pooty (Rosie Perez) who turns out not to be deaf after all. And we doubt her birth certificate reads "Pooty" at any rate.

Reckless has the surface charm of an absurdist comedy but the dark undertow of a disturbing Jungian dream exposing the slipperiness of identity. Like French farce, the play requires fleetness and delicacy--among other things, the possibility exists that Rachel's string of adventures is one woman's midwinter night's dream. Lucas's longtime collaborator Norman Rene directed three versions of the play to souffle perfection (its 1983 premiere, a 1988 off-Broadway revival, and the 1995 movie starring Mia Farrow) before he died of AIDS-related complications in 1996. …

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