A ray of sunshine herself, Ms. Day likes to be entertained only in the most delightful ways. She enjoys a good musical, a bounding puppy, an episode or eight of The Office — you get the idea. But every so often even she needs to balance out all of the rainbows and flowers and Dwightisms with a romp through the Cure's oeuvre or with a play like The Pillowman. The Washington University Performing Arts Department presents this dark work written by Martin McDonagh at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (November 19 through 22). In this play, Katurian, an author of grim short stories about violence against children, is arrested when kids in town are murdered in a fashion eerily similar to what's described in his tales. The author's brother is also in the hot seat down at the police station, and as the cops try to sort out what's what, the brothers reveal some haunting details about their upbringing. Fortunately, for those on the sunnier side of life, the officers serve as a kind of comic relief throughout the play, saying crazy things and playing good-cop-bad-cop, so it isn't all murder and mayhem. The Pillowman is staged at the A.E. Hotchner Studio Theatre (6445 Forsyth Boulevard); tickets cost $10 to $15 at 314-534-1111 or www.metrotix.com.
Nov. 19-22, 2009