No Major Problems to be encountered with surreal, entertaining play

by James Geluso

Daily Cougar Senior Staff

If you found Twin Peaks a little too mundane for your tastes, Infernal Bridegroom Productions has just the play for you.

Samuel's Major Problems is an amusing, surreal look at insanity. At least, it might be.

There isn't a plot, or a story. Samuel (Greg Dean) has some problems. Just what the problems are isn't specified, but they seem to have something to do with perception and reality.

Samuel is treated by two doctors, played by Shelley Callene and Charlie Scott. Their methods of treatment are inventive, to say the least, ranging from stabbing Samuel with a knife to hiding in a cupboard.

The acting in this production is superb. Dean portrays Samuel as a frightened, bewildered man, unsure whether what he sees is truly going on around him or only in his head.

Scott acts like a stereotypical head of an institution, or a mad psychologist, while Callene plays the role of therapist/temptress to the hilt.

The play employs gratuitous use of recorded music and voices. A narrator speaks, but his descriptions don't describe what's really going on any better than the on-stage action.

Samuel's Major Problems isn't for everyone. If you prefer safe, linear plays that are easy to understand, stay away. But if you're interested in a little experimental theater, then this is the show for you.

Samuel's Major Problems plays Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. until April 27. Performances are held at Commerce Street Artists' Warehouse, 2315 Commerce.

To get there, take Commerce Street south from downtown. After crossing the railroad tracks, the Warehouse will be on the left. Admission is $5.99.

Visit The Daily Cougar