All parties, save Claudia and her new lawyer, rationalize that this good girl gone bad not only would be safer in a mental ward than in prison where they’re convinced she’s headed, but also would quit causing trouble for everyone. But Claudia wants her day in court, and to get that, she needs to be found sane.
Nuts, written nearly 25 years ago by Tom Topor, is meant to examine a legal system run amok, a mental system run by the powerful and a society that deems women the weaker, wackier link. The three-act play, presented by SacActors.com, takes place one morning in a courtroom, where all sides present their cases.
But what this courtroom drama lacks is drama. Part of the problem is an examination of a passe law that takes the immediacy and seriousness out of the equation. In fact, right after the play’s 1980 debut, the law was changed.
The undercooked production also leaves a lot lacking. On opening night, many lines were stumbled over, forgotten or recited by rote, causing action to stop, pacing to stall and suspense to suspend. There were some good performances, notably by Lee Marie Kelly as Claudia’s mother, Brian Quigley as the psychiatrist, and Jenna Bell as Claudia, but they floated alone.