Terrific dark comedy at Burbage

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Bennett Fisher’s terrific dark comedy, “Don’t Be Evil” is both funny and frightening, as relevant as today’s news and as challenging as facing the future.

“Is the government of the United States evil?” computer programmer William Webster (Dillon Medina) asks his search engine, Alexandria. When the computer responds with a yes, Webster finds himself whisked away to a bare underground room where he is interrogated and tortured by his two government captors.

Allison Crews plays the steely eyed, cold-as-ice Hayes, not accepting “I don’t know” as an answer to her probing questions. Andrew Iacovelli is the violent, unpredictable and not-too-bright Kavanagh.

This intriguing two-act play, tightly and tensely directed by Jeff Church, poses many questions about our new age of computer technology, government control, secrecy and even religion. And it was written before our new president was elected.

The play takes a fascinating turn at the opening of the second act, when a third character is introduced. The lights go up, and a dark-suited man is sitting on a chair, looking down at the physically and mentally abused Webster.

“Why are you here?” the victim asks.

Murdoch (Jim Sullivan) gives him an answer he doesn’t want to hear, and the play takes an eerie turn. To tell you more would spoil the intense drama and discussion that leads to an explosive ending.

Sullivan gives an icy, eerie performance, saying shocking things followed by an uproarious laugh that will send chills up and down your spine. It is one of Sullivan’s best roles. His character changes the direction of the play, while at the same time dealing with many of the issues that the author raises.

If you want to see good theatre that challenges you to question what is happening in our changing world of technology today, go see “Don’t e Evil.” Tightly written with clever dialogue and actors who know how to deliver it, this is a play to see.

“Don’t Be Evil” is at Burbage Theatre in an intimate space at Aurora, 276 Westminster St. in downtown Providence through Feb. 25. Tickets range for $10 to $20, which is one heck of a bargain for quality theatre. For reservations contact boxoffice@burbagetheatre.org.

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