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LA Theater Review
Rantoul and Die
The awe is provided by an amazing cast that creates characters who have swallowed the debased white-trash, redneck culture whole. The resulting sludge makes us laugh or cry, or just scream for help, though it surely comes from the bruised heart of playwright Mark Roberts, a native of Rantoul. The script is so well observed and honest that even while we cringe at the faint universal echoes of bad relationships and the odious markdown of a culture, there's no stopping the laughter.
Until the laughter dies. Lisa Rothschiller, utterly right as the mousy DQ manager, tells her story in an unsettling, gory monologue that doesn't belong in the same play, maybe serving as expiation for Roberts' making us laugh but leaving a sick headache in its wake. Erin Quigley's direction has a brilliant energy that gets everything together and keeps it there, at a heart-pounding pace—a mixed blessing.
Presented by Stephen Eich and Don Foster at the Lillian Theatre, 1076 Lillian Way,
Hollywood. May 16–July 4. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun.,
7 p.m. (323) 960-4424. www.rantoulanddie.com.
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