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It's the Murder Before Christmas in 'Reckless'

October 30, 1998|JANA J. MONJI

Rachel (Amanda Carlin) is a perky little housewife with an excessive stream of happy talk on the eve of her favorite holiday--Christmas. Her husband (Don Fischer) has a unique present for her this year--he's hired a hit man to kill her tonight, although now he thinks they "should have talked it out."

Carlin is perfect as the wide-eyed innocent, pushed out in her housedress and robe into the winter snow in Craig Lucas' dark comedy "Reckless," at the Interact Theatre Company.

In Lucas' farcical tale, Rachel becomes Mary Ellen, begins sampling therapists (all played with great gusto by the versatile Michele Farr) around the country, ends up on the run with a former physiotherapist in a red Santa suit (Dave Florek) and, after being homeless and shot at, learns to love Christmas again.

There's embezzlement, a mysterious, deaf-mute paraplegic girl (Christina Carlisi) with a few secrets, a game show, a talk show and some murders along the way. Under Fred Sanders' direction, the cast plays it grounded in a reality that's a tad off-kilter.

If you want to inoculate yourself against the upcoming saccharine holiday fare, Lucas' warped story may be the right medicine.

*

* "Reckless," Interact Theatre Company, 11855 Hart St., North Hollywood. Fridays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 and 7 p.m. Ends Dec. 13. $16-$18. (818) 773-7862. Running time: 2 hours, 15 minutes.

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