Out cry

Time Out Ratings :

<strong>Rating: </strong>2/5

Tennessee Williams knew full well that "To be your own enemy is to have against you the worst, the most relentless enemy of all," as a character proclaims in Out Cry. In this bleak and biting late work—which lasted just two weeks on Broadway in 1973—Williams goes existential in an attempt to deconstruct the drama. Even if the result is more an intriguing metatheatrical addendum to a great body of work than a fully realized play, the heft of this National Asian American Theatre Company production is hampered by Thom Sesma's wobbly production.

Actor siblings Felice (Machado) and Clare (Katigbak) are familiar figures in the Williams universe. Fey, devoted dreamer Felice alternately cares for and tries to calm Clare, his frenzied sister. On a tour, they've been abandoned by the other members of their company and have no choice but to perform a work called The Two-Character Play. Said characters? Southern siblings named Felice and Clare, who are haunted by the murder-suicide of their parents.

Like many Williams creations, they're trapped in a kind of madhouse, but instead of fighting against it, Katigbak and Machado give in to the pain and despair early on and have nowhere else to go. Both shine in certain scenes, but Katigbak underplays neurotic drama queen Clare, and Machado's disheveled Felice is part zombie, part mad scientist. By the end, these lost characters aren't the only ones who want out.Diane Snyder

Abingdon Theatre. By Tennessee Williams. Dir. Thom Sesma. With Mia Katigbak, Eduardo Machado. 1hr 55mins. One intermission.