LA WEEKLY 6-7-12

"Theater Review: Astral Dick"

by Rebecca Haithcoat

No need to read Kierkegaard or Camus -- playwright James Mathers neatly breaks down the trio of resolutions at which the absurdist philosophers believed humans arrive during their search for meaning in the world. In some distant future, two detectives investigate a death they believe is tied to a cult-like religious sect worshipping the "AnarChrist." It's a by-the-book interpretation of absurdism: subtitling his world premiere "a play in three acts," Mathers clicks off suicide, religion and, finally, acceptance that life is meaningless. Kaytlin Borgen's luminous, wild-eyed performance is exhilarating, providing the thrill that motivates most of us to press on (or check out) despite the general monotony of life. Mathers' strict adherence to form is -- like life -- often tedious, though that's probably the point. Directed by Hanna Hall. Carbon Copy Productions at Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Lodge, Venice; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; through June 10.

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