Dysfunction Junction

Play explores the thrills of messed-up relationships

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He left the seat up. She painted the bedroom fuchsia. He used a photo of her mom for target practice. No wonder playwright Rich Orloff – whose Engagement Rules premières at Phoenix Theatre’s annual New Works Festival – takes his comic cues from other people’s relationships, because dysfunction is damn funny (when you’re not living it, of course.) The serio-comedy follows an older couple who’ve been married for 50 years and their best friends, a pair of thirtysomethings faced with a seemingly insurmountable problem. Other than the preview for family and friends that the playwright Orloff hosted in his living room, the staged reading is the play’s debut. He says, “I find bleak a copout, but I didn’t want to write a Hallmark card either. This is real life.”
Fri., July 25, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., July 26, 2 & 7:30 p.m., 2008

 
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