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Cal in Camo

  • Theater, Comedy
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

Cal in Camo: Theater review by Helen Shaw

Adrienne Campbell-Holt’s company, Colt Coeur, is known for shows about the young, whether twentysomething lovers (Fish Eye) or high school heroes (Dry Land). But William Francis Hoffman’s powerful, too-brief Cal in Camo is ruthlessly grown-up. It consists almost entirely of screaming fights about loss, failure and responsibility. Adulthood at last.

We meet Cal (Katya Campbell) laboring over her breast pump, chest bruised black. It isn’t just her milk that won’t work; Cal can’t love her baby or her beer-salesman husband, Tim (David Harbour). Her brother Flynt (Paul Wesley) arrives, but he’s stunned by his own griefs. Flynt’s wife has been swept away by a flood (the first of several natural threats), and all he can muster now is a flicker of pride in having killed a 10-point buck (he shows the Polaroid around).

In fiercely written dialogues, each damaged person unlocks another. Hoffman writes beautifully for actors: climactic, showcase scenes (if not yet the interstitial bits or the plot). In these bravura moments, Campbell is startling and Wesley is superbly vulnerable, almost more deer than man. But it’s Harbour, his massive buffalo forehead beetled down in confusion, who’s unmissable here. His performance fills the room; you feel it must be visible down in the street.—Helen Shaw

Rattlestick Playwrights Theater (Off Broadway). By William Francis Hoffman. Directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt. With ensemble cast. Running time: 1hr 20mins. No intermission.

Written by
Helen Shaw


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