For the past several years, playwright Sarah Ruhl has sent audiences some exemplary text messages—dark and winsome dramas such as The Clean House and Eurydice. In her latest play, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, opening at Playwrights Horizons, she’s calling up themes of contemporary anomie in this story of a young woman who pockets the phone of a recently deceased man. By listening in on his voicemail messages, she comes to know the dead man and his family. Gradually, our heroine begins to suspect that the dearly departed maybe wasn’t so dear after all. Director Anne Bogart has dialed up a remarkable cast, including Mary-Louise Parker, Kathleen Chalfant, and Bill Camp. A “cell-phone ballet” also features.
Feb. 10-March 23, 2008