Maxine sits in her nursing home, waiting for the moment when her daughter will spring her trap and order the nurse to kill her. She's certain it's coming — the new tax laws that go into effect on January 1 will cut into her daughter's inheritance, and if Maxine croaks before then, her daughter gets a bigger score. The only answer is a counter-scheme: If Maxine can offer her nurse a larger payday to keep her alive, the daughter loses. But is that what's really going on, or is all the drama in the fearful mind of an unwell, elderly woman? Lucas Hnath's play Death Tax
is a darkly comic look at the end of life and family squabbles. Mustard Seed Theatre closes its season with the St. Louis premiere of Death Tax
. Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (May 9 to 19) at the Fontbonne University Fine Arts Theatre (6800 Wydown Boulevard; www.mustardseedtheatre.com
). Tickets are $15 to $35.