Life’s reverses


<i>Reckless</i>: Uh … merry Christmas?

Reckless: Uh … merry Christmas?

Rated 4.0

“Do we ever really know people?” asks housewife Rachel, after her pajama-clad husband blurts out (on Christmas Eve!) that a hired killer is coming to dispatch her.

Nobody is what they appear to be in this relentless dark comedy—a white-water cascade of weird coincidences and unforeseen tragedies. (Maybe it’s family influence. Playwright Craig Lucas, who gained fame with this 1983 script, was abandoned in a car as a newborn, then raised in a family where his adoptive father worked for the FBI).

This modest-sized but savvy production marks a promising launch for The Falcon’s Eye Theatre, a new company from Folsom Lake College.

Prominent is community actress Bonnie Antonini, who’s continuously “on.” She’s attractive and has a knack for playing resilient, middle-aged women rattled by life’s reverses (like The Mai at California Stage), and does so again here. Antonini changes outfits repeatedly at center stage as her character is hurled from one crazy situation to another.

Supporting roles are well-handled by Charley Cross (rock steady as a kind soul with a troubled past), the redoubtable, rotund James Roberts (an ebullient game show host) and Paula Campanella (a mute paraplegic). Director David Harris sustains a suitably brisk pace for this unsettling tale, deftly deploying several young college actors in small parts.

Reckless is staged at the spanking-new theater at Folsom’s Vista del Lago High School, a “black box” that (sigh) surpasses the technical capabilities of some well-worn Equity stages in town. Falcon’s Eye will eventually settle in a planned performing-arts complex at Folsom Lake College in 2010.