So, our old friends and purveyors of great original downtown theatre are at it again with Jose’ Rivera’s Grand Guginol-like Massacre (Sing to Your Children). From the outset, if your stuck in the usual theatre lethargy you should check your pulse, because “Massacre” starts and never lets go with its frightful sounds and rolling about and spitting-up of blood, blood and more blood (did I mention the blood?) It takes a while in a play like this to get your bearings but it is pretty clear where the group of 7 have been and what they have been up to. I won’t give anything away, but the staging is perfect here by director Brian Mertes as he allows a good cross-section of running, jumping and the occasional character swung on a hook, while we get the down and dirty on everybody’s story and why they have come together for such a frightful escapade.
The second act of what amounts to about a two and a half hour evening features the wily nasty dude everyone refers to in act one, the devil/Joe possibly a metaphor for our current American state of affairs, played with tight little relish by Anatol Yusef.
Given the tight confines of what is turning out to be one of my more fave theaters, I think Andromache Chalfant is to be complimented on scenic design. Overall I think Massacre (Sing to Your Children) works well, though I think I might have gotten to that point a good ten minutes or so before the show ended.
Massacre (Sing to Your Children), a new play by José Rivera, directed by Brian Mertes runs through May 12. For more information, visit http://www.rattlestick.org/content/buyTicketsCurrentShow.