Review: The Last Duck/Jackalope Theatre Company | Newcity Stage
RECOMMENDED Jackalope's latest is a taut pas de deux that examines life's banal cruelty. The piece's central issue (do you know who you are?) transforms into the larger, more sinister question: Does anybody know anyone? Royall (Andrew Burden Swanson) waits for the arrival of actor Gerry (Pat Whalen), who hopes to rent Royall's lake house. The interview digresses to wide-ranging tangents concerning survival and sacrifice. Lucas Neff's script is a muscular powerhouse that scores with sophisticated wordplay and unrelenting tension. The foreshadowing is heavy and the conclusion is a tad abrupt, but the long stretches of monologue effectively pull the audience through the show, no mean feat. Swanson's Royall is played with a tightly coiled malevolence; he's always ten steps ahead of Whalen's slobby yet high-minded Gerry. Director Marti Lyons' staging complements Neff's prose with anxious blackouts, incorporating Chris Kriz's metallic techno sound design to suggest the machinations at work