The Marriage of Bette and Boo

In his 1985 breakout play Tony Award-winner, Christopher Durang offers autobiographical stand-in Matt as hyper-aware narrator of his family’s hilarious tragedy, trying to make sense of what brightly delusional mother Bette and drunken father Boo meant to do, or did not mean. What lies beneath the goofily blithe surface must, as Matt sees it, be put in order, given perspective, then turned into generalizations, both esteemed and satirized as manic drama. That’s the job of the self-regarding bright child. This dark absurdist comedy, bravely staged by the intrepid Costa Mesa Playhouse, includes running dead baby jokes, Roman Catholic self-hatred, jolly if cringing fatalism, all the cheerful stuff of embarrassing inexplicability which is family. “I don’t think God punishes people for specific things,” Matt observes. “He punishes them in general for no reason!” All good, as the kids say lately.

Sundays, 2 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: April 5. Continues through May 3, 2015

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