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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Dinner serves more than just food

    The Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “”Dinner With Friends,”” written by Donald Margulies, exhibited nothing short of a spectacular performance of various kinds of relationships in the raw.

    The performances run thru Jan. 25 at Beowulf Alley Theatre located in downtown Tucson, camouflaged among similar cement buildings, the tobacco store on the corner and a music shop across the street.

    The first scene opens on a married couple, Gabe (Art Armquist) and Karen (Carrie Hill), gushing about their trip to Italy, the tomatoes, the little old lady smothering them in her fists — oh, and Karen’s erratic driving, while their longtime friend and solitary dinner guest, Beth (Rhonda Hallquist), looks about as excited as the emotionless panela dessert sitting on the counter.

    It turns out the risotto has more ability to stick with it than Beth, and with a tearful burst of agony the plot unfurls; Beth’s husband Tom has left her. He wants a divorce.

    And suddenly an estrangement between husband and wife winds its way through the relationships both individuals possess with their best friends – couple to couple, friend to friend and, even for Gabe and Karen at the end of the cycle, husband to wife. The dialogue is packed with repressed energy, flaring unexpectedly and finishing every scene with driving force.

    Perhaps the beauty of the play lies in its title “”Dinner With Friends.”” A simple event playing itself off as an understatement. It’s what drives the plot and what Beth, Tom, Karen and Gabe’s world revolves around: conversations that change our delicate static of life with every word spoken and left unsaid.

    The set looks like it got snatched from your own living room, and the acting was nothing short of impressive. Margulies captured a dark, volatile and very normal part of life, lacing it with humor and adding yet another dimension of what makes us human. Beowulf Alley Theatre Company and director Susan Arnold made it breathe.

    Dinner with Friends
    Beowulf Alley Theatre Company
    Runs through January 25

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