Perhaps the most frightening realization to come from Jennifer Haley's grim comedy Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom is the playwright's belief that there is no discernable difference between the virtual-reality terrain of a video game and the real-world aesthetic of the suburbs. Both are artificial constructs designed to look good as background, but you wouldn't want to live there. In Haley's Neighborhood 3, the bored teenagers of suburbia become infatuated with an interactive shoot-'em-up zombie video game that uses satellite imaging to make the online playing area look exactly like the player's neighborhood. As this addictive game takes over the kids' lives, the parents grow annoyed first and then concerned: It's becoming suspiciously difficult to tell which actions occur in the virtual neighborhood and which occur in real life. HotCity Theatre presents Haley's provocative Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom at 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday (September 11 through 26) at the Kranzberg Arts Center (501 North Grand Boulevard; 314-289-4063 or www.hotcitytheatre.org). Tickets are $20 to $25, and there's $15 student rush tickets. Better power up before you head out for the night — because you never know.
Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: Sept. 10. Continues through Sept. 26, 2009