THE CLEAN HOUSE

Posted on April 12, 2012 by gina No Comments  

 

A WNY Premiere

April 19 – May 12, 2013

By Sarah Ruhl                   

Directed by Derek Campbell

A beautiful Brazilian girl in black – a maid – tells a riotous joke in Portuguese. (She ought to be dusting the bookshelves right now.) Her hips move from left to right – her voice goes up and down – her hands fly back and forth. What is she saying? Her sad, dark eyes aren’t laughing. She’s young enough that her skin is still good, but old enough to start thinking: is my skin still good? (She is twenty-seven). She gets to the punch line – and there is silence. Matilde’s parents knew the secret to the perfect joke. She longs to see them again.

Instead, she cleans a doctor’s house. Lane, the woman with a medical degree and no interest in vacuuming her own carpets, inhabits a world as white and squared away as a tucked-up bed with hospital corners.
The good doctor has her own problems: her husband Charles is about to leave her for a much older, terminally ill, hopelessly charismatic patient he’s fallen madly in love with. (No one might have known, except for Lane’s sister discovering a little pair of red underwear in the neglected laundry.)

From the living room to the seaside, from black to white, fantasy  tangos with reality as the characters of this “metaphysical Connecticut” search for solutions to their tangled lives. Fresh as a green apple, Sarah Ruhl’s The Clean House asks those with a sudden desire to order the universe: Cual es el chiste? – And leaves them a hint to the answer.

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