I mean my title literally. Dream Theatre is running a double feature of 2 one-hour plays. The first runs in the basement theatre space, the second runs in the main theatre space. I went to see them tonight.
The Ballad Of Little Duck is a one-man show about a broken man. The basement space has been convincingly transformed into an outdoor spot in a railroad yard, complete with steadily dripping water. It's a tale of a man driven mad, told in an apparently rambling stream-of-consciousness style, but with a clear story that is revealed bit by bit until the chilling conclusion is reached. It's got a bit of that Southern Gothic quality of a gritty based-in-reality horror tale. Jeremy Menekseoglu always compels attention, riding a roller coaster of emotion, funny and then pitiable, stupid and then cunning. He has created a character that stays with you. Rachel Martindale directed, evidently with a sure touch, because I felt no false notes.
The Samaritan Syndrome is more of a surrealistic exploration of a twisted version of the psychology of wanting to save yourself by first saving someone else. The setting of the play is a mental hospital that turns into a brothel at night. To this place of despair comes a man who is looking to help a particular woman, a woman he has been searching for, to save her. Directed by Anna Menekseoglu, this play is full of haunting emotional exchanges, but moves briskly along. Adam M. Overberg is engaging and sympathetic as our protagonist, the man in a suit. Anna Menekseoglu is awesome as the girl he has been looking for. The other actors, Megan Merrill, Hasket Morris, Kristi Parker-Barnhart, Ophelia Thorne, and Hisako Sugeta all turned in what I thought were very strong performances.
Remember: If someone wants to save you from the grave, they may need you exactly there. So beware.