Tuesday August 21 2:27 pm

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

"Buried Child" was Weird and Depressing!

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“Buried Child” is set in 1978, in a shabby Illinois farmhouse owned by a detestable old man, Dodge (Larry Yando), who is pretty much confined to his couch. Dodge has a cough that sounds terminal, but he still smokes like a chimney. Dodge is malicious, devious, whiny and just plain mean.

Dodge’s wife, Halie (Shannon Cochran), upstairs in the bedroom, loves to hear herself talk. She evidently likes to pretend that everything is perfect, regardless of the facts. They bicker about their sons, Ansel, who was murdered; Tilden, who hasn’t been in his right mind since an ‘episode’ in New Mexico; and their Bradley, an amputee who likes to shave Dodge’s head. You get the feeling that the same old barbs have lost their sting. On the other hand, just about every time she demanded an answer, Dodge had a drink from a flask he has hidden in the couch cushions.

When Tilden (Mark L. Montgomery) wanders in with an armful of corn, Dodge accuses him of stealing from the neighbors. Tilden ignores him, shucking the corn and throwing the husks across the room. When Halie comes downstairs and sees the mess, she too accuses Tilden of stealing and angrily kicks the husks toward Dodge.

After she left for church, Dodge fell asleep on the couch, Tilden covered him with corn husks, and Bradley (Timothy Edward Kane), who is just as crazy as his brother, but a lot meaner, pulled out his clippers and shaved Dodge’s head.

Vince (Scott Dickens) and Shelly (Arti Ishak), on the way to New Mexico to see his father, stopped to visit the grandparents, but Dodge refused to recognize him, no matter what he said. When Tilden came in carrying an armload of carrots, he didn’t recognize his son either. Dodge was furious because Tilden took his bottle so he demanded that Vince go to town and buy him some booze. Vince eventually did go, leaving Shelly behind to chop Tilden’s carrots.

When Halie comes home drunk with her ‘dear’ friend, Father Dewis (Allen Gilmore) in tow and starts screaming abuse at this trespasser in her home, and Vince returns, Dodge spews out all of the ugly secrets this family has been hiding – and they are ugly!

“Buried Child” runs through June 17th at Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe. Free parking is available Free parking is available in the Metra lot a short walk from the theater.

Running time is 2 hours, 50 minutes, with 2 intermissions. Performances are Tuesday through Friday at 7:30 pm; Saturdays at 3:00 and 7:30 pm; Sundays at 2:00 and 6:00 pm; and select Wednesdays at 3:00 pm. Tickets range from $35-$80. FYI (847) 242-6000 or www.writerstheatre.org