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Uneven But Unsettling “Bug:” This Is How The World Ends — With A Bang And A Whimper

Lost souls Todd Bruno and Erynn Dalton try to connect in Evening Star Productions / Infinite Abyss’ Bug (Photo by Fernando Baron II)

  By Bill Hirschman, FloridaTheaterOnStage.com, for  SouthFloridaReporter.com, aUG 16, 2015 – The edgy Infinite Abyss troupe recently has taken to producing evenings of Goth-ish haunted house-style immersive theater. But its co-production of Bug with Evening Star Productions presents psychological horrors far more unnerving than anything seen in a slasher movie – although there is gory viscera on display.

When a madman eviscerates a psychiatrist and drags several feet of bloody intestines to show his lover, you can guess that this isn’t a play akin to Evening Star’s recent romantic musical The Last Five Years or its mainstream tuner The Addams Family.

Tracy Letts’ early play about paranoia spiraling into madness is so challenging that it defeats many companies. It requires a precisely controlled degeneration as downtrodden souls turn into raving lunatics.

Evening Star/Infinite Abyss’s ambitious and earnest edition of this surreal odyssey under Rosalie Grant’s direction spends most of its first two-thirds almost somnolently phlegmatic to the point that some patrons might want to leave at intermission. But she finally ratchets up the energy as the sanity of its central lovers played by Todd Bruno and Erynn Dalton races headlong downhill toward fiery oblivion, taking the audience with it.

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