Hunter Gatherers

In Washington Ensemble Theatre’s regional premiere of Peter Sinn Nachtrieb's dark comedy, two foodie couples prepare for a nice meal together. All goes well until the veneer of camaraderie cracks open and a toxic sludge of deception, resentment, and infidelity seeps in. What was intended as another evening of well-heeled repressives making nice-nice devolves into a rampage of Darwinian impulses. Dinner is served with a body count. Nachtrieb has a gift for funny turns-of-phrase that undercut the seething tensions and the seriousness of what he implies: We’re all animals. And all the accoutrements, fine wines and double entendres don’t mean much next to skills in fighting and rutting. Director Desdemona Chiang assembles an able cast (Patrick Allcorn, Montana von Fliss, Hannah Victoria Franklin, and Ricky Coates) that attacks this dark comedy with the ferocity of hungry kids at a pie-eating contest. KEVIN PHINNEY [See Kevin's full review.]

Mondays, Thursdays-Sundays, 7:30 p.m. Starts: Jan. 7. Continues through Feb. 8, 2010

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