Wednesday, May 23 , 2018, 1:51 pm | Overcast 63º

 
 
 
 

Theater UCSB to Open Its Season With ‘Reckless’ Abandon

Playwright Craig Lucas' play has the ability to treat serious, even horrific, themes in a light, humorous way.

Theater UCSB will open its 2008-09 season with a dark, manic comedy, Reckless by Craig Lucas (Prelude to a Kiss), directed by Tom Whitaker of the UCSB faculty.

Reckless stars Kane Anderson, Lydia Rae Benko, Christy Escobar, Sean Harrigan, Merlin Huff, Erika Lee and Natasha Lloyd — all UCSB students — and features a faculty-student scenic design collaboration by Tal Sanders (faculty) and Erinn McGrew (student), with costumes by Ann Bruice and lighting by Vickie Scott.

Reckless plays at 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday and Nov. 15, and at 2 p.m. Sunday and Nov. 15, in the Performing Arts Theatre on the UCSB campus.

“I always wanted to do something reckless, you know?” says Rachel Fitzsimons, whose impulsive optimism rivals that of Voltaire’s Candide, “Run away in the middle of the night in your slip and your slippers with some strange man who would ruin your reputation and disappoint your parents terribly and disappoint your friends and just make you really happy. Well, I think we get these ideas from rock ‘n’ roll songs.”

When Rachel’s husband admits to her, on Christmas Eve, that he has taken out a contract on her life, she commits exactly the kind of reckless act she has been talking about, and that is only the beginning of the recklessness of Reckless. Rachel may be more of a brilliant stratagem than a solidly thought-out character, but for those who wish they could live for the moment, she is the mother of all wish-fulfillments.

Article Image
Playwright Craig Lucas sees serious things in a funny way. (Chris Hildreth photo)
Writer Don Shewey, in a perceptive review of Reckless, made the following observation, which ought to reassure anyone considering attending the UCSB production: “Reckless sustains its comic buoyancy while dealing almost relentlessly with dark subjects — pain, loss, alienation, nameless middle-of-the-night fears, and the chaos of the universe.” Lucas thus has that rare virtuosity of writing talent that enables him to treat serious, even horrific, themes in a light, humorous way without trivializing them or diminishing their seriousness.

Lucas was born April 30, 1951. When he was 8 months old, he was adopted by a conservative Pennsylvania couple. His father was an FBI agent, his mother a homemaker. He graduated from high school in 1969, and discovered his left-leaning political sentiments and his own homosexuality at about the same time.

He still maintains that coming out liberated him and made possible a career in the theater. It is possible, even plausible, to divide his work, as some critics do, into “gay plays” (Blue Windows, Longtime Companion, The Dying Gaul) and “straight plays” (Reckless, Prelude to a Kiss, Three Postcards), but I think that you will find, whichever of his plays you consider, that his themes are universal enough to compel the attention of all audiences, regardless of sexual orientation. (Brilliant as it is, however, I don’t know that I would recommend The Dying Gaul to anyone but die-hard fans of Peter Saarsgard, Campbell Scott or Patricia Clarkson.)

Tickets to Reckless are $13 for students, seniors and UCSB Faculty and staff, and $17 for general admission. Tickets are available at the department ticket office by calling 805.893.7221.

Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Supporter

Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >