If you like plays that tie everything up in neat little packages at the end, you won’t care for Phyllis Nagy’s “Disappeared.” Even adventurous theatergoers may find this offbeat drama—now at the Monkey Wrench Collective through May 22—less than satisfactory, as I did.
Nagy’s refusal to resolve the disappearance of Sarah Casey, a twenty-something travel agent, isn’t the only troublesome aspect of the play; it’s full of one-dimensional characters, a lot of dialogue that doesn’t ring true, and a jumbled non-linear structure with scenes that jump back and forth in time for no apparent reason.
Dave Barton’s sure-footed staging fails to salvage the play. Jennifer Pierce stirs intrigue as Sarah; the standouts are Robert Dean Nunez (appropriately creepy as Elston, the key suspect) and Susan E. Taylor (as Sarah’s distraught mother, Ellen). Call 714-253-4141.
Followers of avant-garde theatre should be more than satisfied with “Bad Reputation: Performances, Essays, Interviews” by Penny Arcade, available in hardcover from Semiotext(e). Arcade, a refugee from Andy Warhol’s factory and an iconic New York performance artist, offers scripts of three shows, along with an interview and archival photographs.
More from Jordan:
Anna Deavere Smith at San Diego Rep & on DVD
Ionesco’s ‘Chairs,’ Manings’ ‘Louie’
‘God of Carnage’ at the Ahmanson
Lisa Kron’s ‘Well,’ David Macaray’s ‘Revenge’
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