The Office of Dead Letters
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Have you ever written a love note you have no intention of sending, or suspected that important correspondence has somehow been lost in the mail? In Heloise Wilson’s new devised work, all mail that fails to reach its destinations end up in the same place: The Office of Dead Letters. There’s something enchanting about this dim little workplace, where a team of quirky characters processes an endless stream of failed missives. For each letter, someone plays the part of the author and reenacts the circumstances of its composition; then an imaginary lever is pulled, and the letter is stamped and sent off. (Where to? We’re not told.) The content of the mail ranges from a heartfelt wartime message to a random complaint about a roommate’s rowdy sex life; the performers’ movement is dancelike as it transitions from letter to letter, and the music may leave you humming on the street. The show eventually starts to drag, and after a while you might find yourself secretly hoping that each new envelope will be the last. But although some of the letters may seem trivial, others pack a sentimental punch—enough, at least, to make you hope to find something in your own mailbox when you get home from the theater.—Inge Crafford-Lazarus
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