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Friday, October 14, 2016

"The Nether" @ Third Rail Rep

I first encountered the work of Jennifer Haley in "Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom" Like that show, this production is set in the world of virtual-reality. "The Nether" is a place so real that most of society's functions take place within it, such as primary and higher-education. It is a place where some "citizens" elect to stay permanently within it. There is also an unspecified disaster which has decimated much of the real-world, at least in terms of vegetation.

The story centers around the interrogation of Mr. Sims, the proprietor of a "realm" known as "The Hideaway" where "guests" can engage in behavior certainly unacceptable in the real world. In Michael O'Connell's hands, he is a cold rationalist, which makes him all the more unsettling. Most disturbing of all, however is Agatha Olson as Iris, the "child" victim.

The set also deserves special mention, while it is spare, the "static-curtain" is a brilliant device to divide the real and virtual.

Due to a whirlwind of openings, I got to "The Nether" a little late, and it only runs through Oct. 22, but I hope you will see it, because it is the most provocative show of the early Season.

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