Craig Lucas' 1983 comedy of discomfort turns holiday-season smugness on its head. Naturally its heroine Rachel (Alyssa Keene) is a believer in all the Yuletide cliches--holiday lights, snowy branches, reindeer, star on the tree, etc. She yammers on so endlessly about them that her brooding husband Tom (Matthew Middleton) has contracted a hit-man to knock her off. Relenting at the 11th hour, Tom shoves her out into the snow to escape. Like Alice down the rabbit hole, the sheltered and idealistic Rachel is soon disabused of many a hackneyed holiday homily. The White Rabbit figure who picks her up is Lloyd (Carter Rodriquez), who, while not an axe murderer, is a pretty disturbed guy. His deaf/mute/paraplegic wife, Pooty--played bug-eyed by Megan Ahiers in one of the weirdest, most piquantly creepy performances of the year--embodies the kind of epic, everyday sacrifice that makes crucifixion seem jejune. In Reckless, life is random, and the meanings we assign to it, Christmas included, are arbitrary. Perhaps appropriately, director Carol Roscoe deploys her talented cast in a Twilight Zone world that makes no apologies for absurdity and few gestures toward verisimilitude. If you hate the current, oppressive holiday cheer, this may just be the play for you. MARGARET FRIEDMAN [See Margaret's full review.]

Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Mon., Dec. 12, 8 p.m. Starts: Nov. 17. Continues through Dec. 17, 2011

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