What do Oscar-winning screenwriters do between films? They make little plays, apparently. One such diminutive dramedy is John Patrick Shanleys The Dreamer Examines His Pillow, an oddball skewering of infidelity, spousal abuse, and the vagaries of love. Shanley, who won an Academy Award for his Moonstruck script in 1987, pits a womans father against her lover after the woman discovers her beau has been canoodling with her younger sister. Its complicated.
The snarky commentary on heterosexual romance is tailor-made for Artists Theatre Project, a smallish troupe thats scored highs (Scream Queens) and lows (The Book of Liz) with similarly quirky productions in recent seasons. Few other local theater companies would dare to mount a story in which a father threatens to pummel his daughters former lover if he doesnt marry the girl, or a wife-beater hands out marriage advice to a younger man whos sleeping with both of the older guys daughters. Like we said, its complicated.
Dreamer, which New York magazine lauded with a long list of encouraging adjectives (. . . pungent, thought-provoking, original, poetic . . .), performs at Soul Invictus Gallery & Cabaret.