Weekly Dig - December 3-10, 2003

Anger Box

Written by Jeff Goode Directed by Danielle Fauteux Jacques Featuring Larry Jay Tish, Bill Doscher, Becca A. Lewis, Stephen Libby, Flavia Steiner Viggiani, Elizabeth Stuart, Danielle L. DiDio, Chiara Durazzini, Vladimir Aseneta, and Ann Carpenter.
by Matthew Christian

TheatreZone's performance of Jeff Goode's Anger Box pounces on the big questions that vex mankind: Does an all-seeing, all-knowing God exist? Does he give a spit about us? Are we mortals doing his will or just putting our words in his mouth? And if that's the case, why would we create such an asshole of a deity?

And so, 10 jaded characters give up on faith in a chaotic world and instead seek a little equity, or maybe a chance to straighten out a few kinks in the mortal coil. Each gets a turn at center stage with a monologue about misadventures with inequity, piety, betrayal, just desserts or last meals. Each exudes a unique flavor of anger, ranging from disillusionment to indignant fury to seething hatred. Some performances stand out for their intensity.

In "Popophilia," actress Becca A. Lewis flounces about in a communion dress while explaining her goal of getting pregnant by the pope. Everything's planned, from her life of abstinence to the perfect time to reveal her child's paternity. All so she can hang the church with its own rope for the hatred it's spawned. Payback's a bitch, and so is this princess in white.

Stephen Libby nails the true Christmas spirit as a bitter elf in "None Believer." His litmus test for faith is irrefutable, and he delivers an example of a true believer's response with deliciously vitriolic sanctimony.

Flavia Steiner Viggiani sizzles with palpable rage at her spouse, neighbor and religion for various betrayals in "Godburger." Anguish gushes from her character into the audience, and it would have been no surprise if the mixing bowl she thrashed had shattered like her nerves.

Anger Box shows through December 13, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm at TheaterZone, located at the new Chelsea Theatre Works, 189 Winnisimmet St., Chelsea. Tickets are $15 at the door or $12 in advance by calling TheatreZone at 617.8872336. www.TheatreZone.org