So matter-of-fact is Wallace Shawn's dark comedy, Aunt Dan And Lemon, about the banality of evil, some critics and audiences assumed the play championed everything from eugenics to fascism. Philadelphia viewers have one more weekend to make up their own mind. The InterAct Theatre Company's production of the play, which previewed Jan. 6 and opened Jan. 7, ends Feb. 1.
Aunt Dan And Lemon premiered at the NY Shakespeare Festival in 1986 and concerned a sickly young girl (Lemon) who grows infatuated with her aunt's lifestyle. Seth Rozin, co-founder of InterAct, directs. Says he, "Aunt Dan reflects the very core of InterAct's mission -- to get the audience really thinking when they leave the theatre."
Starring in the show are Maggie Siff (Lemon) and Maureen Torsney-Weir (Aunt Dan), alongside Jose Aviles, John Barrett, Nina Edgerton, Neill Hartley, Mimi Smith and J.J. Van Name. Designing the show are Hiroshi Iwasaki (set), Peter Whinnery (lighting) and Larisa Ratnikoff (costumes).
Author Shawn is best known as a film actor ("My Dinner With Andre," "The Princess Bride") but has also penned The Designated Mourner and Marie And Bruce. As a special event, Site Installation Theatre Ensemble will offer Shawn's The Fever as a late-night show Jan. 14-17 after Aunt Dan. Miriam Fried directs this look at a man alone in a Third World hotel room.
For tickets to Aunt Dan And Lemon, opening Jan. 7 at InterAct's Adrienne space, 2030 Sansom St., call (215) 569-9700. The next show at InterAct will be Under Yelena by Buffy Sedlachek. -- By David Lefkowitz