For those of you who haven’t been “under main,” to one of the hippest theaters in town, here’s the thing - shows at Undermain Theatre are always good. I suppose I shouldn't say always because I haven’t been around for all 28 seasons, but in my, albeit limited, experience, Katherine Owens and Bruce DuBose know how to pick ‘em, and put on one heck of a show.
The kick-off to their 28th season is no exception. DuBose and Mark Fickert star, and actually compose the entire cast of Sam Shepard’s latest play "Ages of the Moon."
Depending on where your interests lie, you might be more familiar with Shepard's film career (an Academy Award nominee) than his plays, but Shepard has received over a dozen awards including the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1979 for his play "Buried Child."
Texans (and Dallasites) ought to have a particular appreciation for his career, as not only do Shepard's plays often take place in the Southwest, but he has donated much of his work and papers to Texas State University’s Wittliff Collection. The man’s heart is in Texas.
"Ages of the Moon" is a one act play about two old friends, Byron and Ames, reminiscing on the past and trying not to think about the future during one bourbon-infused afternoon. The emotional roller-coaster ride the two take the audience on during the 65 minute play will make you laugh and, at the very least, teary-eyed. As the play opens, Ames and Byron are sitting and sipping in Ames’ fishing house. Byron has just made a long journey to stay with Ames, whose wife wanted him out after learning of an illicit encounter with a young woman. The two talk about regrets, relive the past, wonder what’s next and fall into some violent quarrels, but the heart-wrenching conclusion brings it all together.
DuBose as troubled Ames, and Fickert as the loyal friend Byron, convey humor and a brutally painful sorrow in equal parts as they portray “good ol” country boys who seem to have simply made a few mistakes.
Undermain’s "Ages of the Moon," in the vein of so many great American plays, offers the audience an overdose of emotion fueled by lots of liquor and lots of conversation. It sucks you in and you won't be bored.
"Ages of the Moon" runs at Deep Ellum’s Undermain Theatre through November 12. For ticket prices and times visit www.undermain.org.