True West

Sam Shepard’s plays and stories are blooming like dandelions this spring. In New York, his new Ages of the Moon and the acclaimed restaging of A Lie of the Mind put him back at the forefront of American theater. In your local bookstore, his new story collection Day Out of Days rests not too far from Patti Smith’s ’70s memoir Just Kids, in which he figures prominently. In his Obie-winning 1980 True West, two estranged brothers fight over a screenwriting job, destroy a toaster and typewriter, wrestle with their family legacy (departed father, absent mother), and enact a violent form of sibling rivalry that ultimately becomes a kind of synthesis. These two antagonists are like the divided halves of the arechtypal Western hero—outlaw and town dweller—who can’t accept their kinship. Chris Bell and Shawn Belyea topline Balagan’s production (co-directed by Belyea and Tim Hyland) in meaty roles previously inhabited by the likes of Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Sinise, John Malkovich, and the brothers Quaid. MARGARET FRIEDMAN [See Margaret's review.] 8 p.m. Thurs.-Sat., 7 p.m. Sun. Ends May 1.

Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: April 8. Continues through May 1, 2010

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