Not long after Sunset Boulevard showed how dangerous it is to orbit a declining film diva, Tennessee Williams wrote Sweet Bird of Youth, a play about another gigolo type, Chance Wayne, hitching his wagon to a fading star in pursuit of his old girlfriend, Heavenly Finley. Very Gatsby-esque, as well. And holy Christ, those character names!
Phoenix’s high-tech experimental Orange Theatre Group uses the dreamy-yet-perilous Sweet Bird as a jumping-off point for their production You You Shouldn’t Come Back. The troupe tends to jump way off, filling the venue with cameras, microphones, multimedia playback, and visceral physicality. The performance applies myth-like revisionism to not just literature and art, but the past and present, exploring how people and things and the world end with help from “John Hughes, Euripides, and Werner Herzog,” according to OTG’s web site.