Grisly violence, legal drama, and gay-themed social commentary come together smartly in Chris Phillips’s Pieces.
When Shane (Chris Salvatore) murders and dismembers his rich Hollywood sugar daddy, he seems destined for death row. Enter public defender Rory (Jonathan Gibson), who probes the damaged Shane’s troubled relationship as well as the self-destructive inclinations that characterize gay culture in Los Angeles. Gibson and Nina Millin are outstanding as lawyers on opposite sides of the case. The observant and insightful script explores morality without getting preachy; the staging and sound design are equally effective. This is a must-see Fringe show—if not for of the sharp, tabloid-ready shocks, then for the wisdom and urgency of the playwright’s message. (Visit sohoplayhouse.com
for more information.)—Michael Torres