Review: Why Torture Is Wrong, And The People Who Love Them

A nook into America.

By Ryan Donaldson December 14, 2010

Portland Actors’ Conservatory probes into dangerous territory.

Playwright Christopher Durang (Laughing Wild and Beyond Therapy) propels the audience into the psyche of American paranoia in Portland Actors Conservatory’s production, Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them. “Freedom toast,” Scooby-Doo, and Terri Schiavo are just a few things brought up in Durang’s dialogue.

Felicity (Jessica Anselmo) and Zamir (Sam DeRoest) hook up after fine dining at Hooters. Felicity wakes up to find herself married to Zamir, a guy who “drives a truck at night and gets paid.” When she breaks the news to her parents, they begin to speculate about Zamir’s nationality, and later, his involvement in presumed terror plot “The Big Bang.” Felicity’s father Leonard (played by veteran Portland actor Danny Bruno) promises to get to the bottom of the mystery by secretly enlisting his friends, including the low-panty-wearing Hildegarde.

Not to worry; when things get too heated, the play’s narrator steps in as a heroic deus ex machina, and under the light of a twinkling disco ball, he transports Felicity back in time to resume her Hooters dining. With this twisted comedy of post-9/11 rhetoric, porn, and time-travel, Christopher Durang blows the audience away into lunacy.

Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them runs through December 19. Portland Actors Conservatory, 1436 SW Montgomery St. Call 503-274-1717 for showtimes. For a more comprehensive list of events, visit PoMo’s Arts & Entertainment Calendar!

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