The Country Playhouse will present True West by Sam Shepard, in its Black Box venue for three weekends only, February 8 – 23. Performances are on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., with a Sunday matinee on February 17 at 2:00 p.m., plus a weeknight show on Thursday, February 21, at 7:30 p.m.
Two brothers, Austin and Lee, are polar opposites in life – one a would-be screenwriter and the other a sociopathic drifter. Yet as events unfold, their identities emerge as two sides of a shared nature, their animosity fueled by an envy of each other's lives. When Austin's Hollywood producer enters the picture, Lee manages to pitch a script of his own and the two brothers work themselves into a fratricidal frenzy over it, plunging into the dark psychological tangle that is Shepard's hallmark as a playwright, bringing desperate drama to the very act of writing.
Directed by Debra Schultz, the cast includes Sam Martinez, Bryan Maynard, Scott Holmes, and Julie Oliver.
Playwright Sam Shepard has made a career out of scorning convention and glorifying outsider charisma. Rock heroes and lone warriors, drug-laced invective and delirium are elements in his literary mythology, in settings that often involve dysfunctional family love-hate outrage. Yet as an actor he has pursued a rather different trajectory, as a laconic leading man in the Gary Cooper mold. Written in 1980 during Shepard's peak mainstream years, True West somehow seems to embody these contradictions, unresolved but in perpetual tension. During a recent New York revival, the two actors portraying Austin and Lee would often switch roles on different nights, heightening the dark-mirror dynamic that drives the story.
Ticket prices are $22 for adults, and $19 for students and seniors. Groups of 20 or more receive a $5.00 discount off the adult price. Call the box office at 713-467-4497 for reservations, or make them online at www.countryplayhouse.org (at no additional charge).
Country Playhouse is located at 12802 Queensbury, Houston 77024 (across from City Centre), just two blocks east of the Sam Houston Tollway.