The Civilized & the Discontent
Scripted by local actor-director-writer Betty Burns, the “show” follows the Dunslott family, a prominent, wealthy and extremely screwed-up bunch. Octavia (Julie Field) is the sex-crazed matron who has had affairs with practically everybody in town. She’s now set her lustful sights on successful young dentist Dr. Melville Dunderpate (Jeremy Votava), who, unfortunately for Octavia, is still hopelessly obsessed with his deceased wife—as an anniversary present, Dunderpate buys sexy lingerie for his wife’s urn!
Meanwhile, Octavia’s wheelchair-bound husband Sebastian (Matt Brown) dreams of dancing again, while the mysterious and vaguely European-accented Nurse Chartruce (Michelle L. Smith) manipulates him to her will. She’s up to no good, Octavia observes at one point, and not just because Chartruce has tried to kill or blackmail family members several times in the past.
Rounding things out are the Dunslotts’ Tourettes-afflicted teenaged daughter Chastity (Betsy Brown), her nerdy, wannabe suitor Swain (Cameron Fife), and her stuntman boyfriend Vincent (Marcus Sams).
Novice director Samantha Perry has done well: The blocking has that soapy vibe, and her cast does a great job at balancing obvious parody with “playing it straight.”
It’s worth a late-night viewing.