Saturday, April 25, 2009

Woolly Mammoth Goes Before and After with Antebellum

Antebellum continues this season's theme of remembering earlier eras at the Woolly Mammoth theater in D.C.

Antebellum (which means "before the war") takes place in both pre-war Germany and later in 1939 Atlanta. A Hitler-like character falls in love with a black male camp prisoner, who earlier was a popular jazz singer having a passionate affair with an American Jewish man living temporarily in Berlin.

The prisoner eventually escapes his Nazi confines and reunites in Atlanta with his Jewish lover, who has since married a seemingly simple 25-year-old virgin female infatuated with the hottest new "picture show," Gone With the Wind.

Identity problems ensue for all the characters, and there are plenty of heartbreaks to go along with some laughs and gratuitous male nudity. All five actors are excellent, Robert O'Hara's script is exceptionally strong, and this continues the remarkable string of fantastic productions at Woolly Mammoth.

**** out of ***** stars

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