3 Screams

For its inaugural performance, Seattle’s newest theater company, Man Alone Productions, has done the honorable deed of producing a (nearly) new work by a local playwright. The result is about two-thirds excellent. Vincent Delaney’s comedy about the theft of Edvard Munch’s signature painting is a series of three monologues delivered by members of a dysfunctional family: an artist-turned-thief (Michael Oaks), his unbalanced wife (Erin Ison), and the young man who’s unfortunate enough to be their son (Brandon Ryan). It’s a cleverly designed story, revealing bits of the heist amidst rants about the meaning of art. The two actors’ monologues are filled with philosophical witticisms and cathartic moments. In her role, however, Ison is burdened with a weak, largely unsympathetic character, whose actions slow the momentum of the play. Also, an odd blocking choice leaves her delivering half her monologue to random points on the stage and the other half directly to the audience. She looks lost, which is how we start to feel, too. The second act is salvaged by Ryan, whose scene has the most heart and whose comic timing is the highlight of the show. BRENT ARONOWITZ

Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: Feb. 4. Continues through Feb. 26, 2011

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