Boston Court’s ‘The Treatment’ brings kooky to crazy

You don’t expect to laugh at Anton Chekov’s short story “Ward 6”–particularly if you’ve seen the recent movie “Ward No. 6,”  but you also don’t expect a bit of Grouch Marx, “American Idol” and the CIA, NBA, NFL and KBG. Richard Alger’s adaptation is far from traditional, but you expect this, right? It’s Boston Court in Pasadena.

Don’t worry. Alger hasn’t Disneyfied Chekov and given us a happy ending. There’s plenty of tragedy and the play still erases the fine line between the sane and insane. Yet with all the roles played by men, the asymmetrical and some times only half there costumes by Ellen McCartney and the expressive ensemble choreography and direction by Tina Kronis, “The Treatment” brings kooky to crazy.

The basic story is Dr. Ragin (Mark Doerr) works at a much neglected district hospital. Slowly, he begins to drink more and go to work less. His only friend in the village is the local postman (Jake Eberle) who he finds a bit boorish and will eventually lead to his ruin. In the mental ward, Ragin becomes intrigued by a particular inmate (Mark Skeens).  And in time, Ragin is seduced by the feverish rantings of the inmate and finds the reality of his outside life dimming, dull and worthless.

Presented in collaboration with Theatre Movement Bazaar, this Boston Court world premiere is part vaudeville, part crew jam and part prose jam session. This is where live theater is fun and fascinating. Movies couldn’t do this stuff. So get up, get out and contemplate your sanity at this wonderfully creative and entertaining production.

“The Treatment” continues at Boston Court 25 March 2012  and runs Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through March 25.  Preview tickets are priced at $17 and regular performances at $34. Senior, student and group discounts are also available. Tickets can be purchased online at BostonCourt.org or by calling (626) 683-6883. Boston Court Performing Arts Center is located one block north of Colorado at the corner of Mentor Ave. and Boston Ct.

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