Reverse psychology works - at least it cures the loonies in Charles Ludlam's comedy of the same name, opening the 2000-01 season Nov. 8 at Seattle's Empty Space Theatre. Reverse Psychology started previews Nov. 3 and runs through Dec. 16.
In the typically twisting patterns of farce, husband and wife psychiatric team Dr. Leonard Silver and Dr. Karen Gold, both with obsessions of their own (he has unresolved feelings for his patients, she can't resist the Metropolitan Museum of Art), become tangled with another couple. Eleanor, who compulsively shops for lawn mowers even though she lives in an apartment, and Freddie, a postmodern artist with painting problems. When the partners fall in love with each other, they both plan secret trysts at the same hotel resulting in crazy sexual situations, nudity and rampant references to Oscar Wilde, Noel Coward, William Shakespeare and the Marx Brothers.
Ludlam, who died in 1987, founded the Ridiculous Theatre Company, producing such classics as Camille (with Ludlam in the title role, a part he played at the Empty Space in 1980), The Mystery of Irma Vep and Bluebeard.
Shawn Belyea, co-director of last year's Amersterdam, directs. Philip Endicott and Imogen Love (Under the Gaslight) are Leonard and Karen with Kevin Mesher (Deflowered in the Attic) and Shelley Reynolds (Wuthering! Heights! The! Musical!) as Freddie and Eleanor.
Designing Reverse Psychology are John Petterson (sets), Nanette Acosta (costumes), Timothy Wratten (lighting) and Nathan Anderson (sound). Tickets in Seattle are $26-$18. The Empty Space Theatre is located at 3509 Fremont North. For tickets, call (206) 547-7500. The Empty Space Theatre is on the web at http://www.emptyspace.org.
-- By Christine Ehren