Imagine Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? crossed with the old Swedish shocker I Am Curious (Yellow), and you will have some notion of Lars Norén's Last Supper, a domestic drama of naked self-exposure. In other words, you get marital pits and ripe tits.
After their mother's funeral, two estranged brothers and their wives gather to drink and talk. The men play hot potato with the urn that contains their mother's ashes. All night the phone is left conspicuously off the hook for the neglected child of one of the brothers to holler "Daddy" if she gets scared. Sibling rivalry erupts, husbands and wives exchange taunts, and lust permeates the air. As a drunken brawl ensues, panties peel off and secrets spill out.
Sardonic wit, social satire, and obvious symbolism lace the work of this contemporary Swedish playwright. Excess prevails, though, and gambits that at first amuse grow tedious. Director Zishan Ugrulu revs up the speed and volume, adding techno-effects (film and voice-over), which intensify the subtext but muddy the action. Still, he gets points for stylish staging, visceral physicality, and a live jazz quartet that lays down a moody soundtrack. The Nordic cast emotes furiously, but for all Last Supper's revelations, the play ultimately seems less mysterious than murky.
By Lars Norn
La MaMa E.T.C.
74A East 4th Street
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