Hit-Story Harry Harden (Christopher Hickey) is a man in conflict with himself. A happy, pacifistic English professor, he's lately become subject to outbursts of maniacal punching, which he can neither predict nor control. These "furies," as he calls them, threaten his career — he pummeled a poetry professor — and his marriage to Janet (Michelle Hand), who also has been on the receiving end. It's Janet who summons her brother, Derek (Jason Cannon), a high-priced shrink, to the basement boxing ring where Harry sequesters himself for the safety of others. Can Derek root out the cause of Harry's affliction? The script, by Washington University playwright-in-residence Carter W. Lewis, has the looseness of a fable and the electric language of prophecy, most of which is delivered with majestic unctuousness by Cannon, who goads his brother-in-law into a fury, for his own amusement. At a scant 60 minutes, Hit-Story is a little short on development, but Cannon and Hickey's verbal sparring — about life and guilt and who really deserves to be battered by an engine of destruction like Harry — dazzles so thoroughly in this Tom Martin-directed production that you won't notice. It doesn't hurt that the action is staged in an actual boxing ring. In an actual basement. (They don't call themselves OnSite Theatre Company for nothing.) Through November 19 at Sweat, 8011 Maryland Avenue, Clayton. Tickets are $20. Call 314-686-0062 or visit www.onsitetheatre.org. — Paul Friswold
Palmer Park Reviewed in this issue.Ongoing
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