by Arda Darakjian Clark.
This review appeared in Los Angeles
Times on Friday, May 3, 1996.
by F. Kathleen Foley
When Donne wrote "No man is an island,
he couldn't in his wildest dreams have imagined a high-tech malcontent like the
Unabomber. Indeed, human islands break off from our increasingly fragmented society
all too often these days, with increasingly devastating results. "Human Scratchings"
at the Court Theatre is an agonizingly detailed pre-mortem of just such an individual,
a troubled man drive to isolation and violence after his wife's unnecessary death.
A self-appointed vigilante who believes he has been divinely appointed to battle
evil, this nameless protagonist kills again and again. However, when two youthful
targets don't act according to his expectations, he must reevaluate the inhumanity
of his own actions.
Rick Edelstein wrote and directed
this one-man show, which stars Anthony Geary, perhaps most famous for his portrayal
of Luke on "General Hospital." Even when Edelstein's writing verges on the rhetorical,
which it frequently does, it remains thought-provoking, with plenty of humor to
candy-coat a very serious message.
The staging, enhanced by Kathi O'Donohoe's
lighting and Jon Gottlieb's sound, is impeccable, but it is Geary who is the true
revelation of the evening. Tautly dexterous, funny yet poignant, Geary tackles
a variety of characters with masterly aplomb while delicately balancing his sympathetic/mad
hero's diametrical motivations. A formidable and versatile performer, Geary brings
this lost soul to vivid life.
"Human Scratchings," Court Theatre,
722 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles. Thursdays-Sundays, 8 p.m. Ends June 2. $20.
(xxx) xxx-xxxx. Running time: 2 hours, 15 minutes.