Liquid Morality

Does making a deathly serious situation appear ridiculous heighten awareness of the situation's inanity--or does it bolster its gravity? "Where Instinct and Reason Collide," the subtitle of Kansas City playwright Ron Simonian's quartet of one-acts, exposes the binary nature of the performance. As Simonian defines these binaries, he also quickly inverts them. He grapples with topics that don't usually arise in polite conversation--homicide and sex crimes, for example--and doesn't hesitate to make us laugh at them. From a Bible-thumping, vegetarian hit man to a young couple involved in deviant sexual activities as a way to stay together to a reworking of the Creation story, caricatures pervade the show as evidence of its post-structural themes. The production (the Seattle debut of Simonian's work) deftly combines powerful acting with witty content; where artists often overdo wit, these performers shine. Directed by Tim Hyland, Seattle Repertory Theatre's Erin Kraft, and others. IRFAN SHARIFF

Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Mon., June 7, 7:30 p.m.; Mon., June 14, 7:30 p.m. Starts: June 4. Continues through June 19, 2010

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