In the energetic opening scene of Daniel Carroll’s Whiskey Jack, a crew from the Manhattan Logging Corporation prepares for a trip to the Canadian wilderness during a rousing rendition of "Pay Me My Money Down" (the first of many fine uses of folk music in the show). As the excellent cast bustles around, a narrator (Carroll) who has devoted his life to studying the tragedy that is about to befall them—think The Twilight Zone's Rod Serling as a rambling and unappreciated academic—explains that before the great stock-market crash of 1929 could fell these loggers, a mysterious sickness would. Unfortunately, as the darkly comic thriller plot unfolds, it becomes increasingly confusing. The raw elements are interesting: a murder plot, an insane doctor with his own agenda, a bitter Native American employee poised to avenge the taking of his ancestors’ land—not to mention a supernatural demon known as Whiskey Jack. But the play pours out a bigger drink than the audience can swallow.—Madeline Raynor
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