Though at first it may seem like an odd pairing of one acts, there's actually a connection between playwright Christopher Durang's introductory work, Mrs. Sorken and David Mamet's The Duck Variations. Towards the end of Mrs. Sorken, a direct reference is made to the the plays of David Mamet, and his frequent use of the "f word". It's an ironic one, since this is one of the few pieces in which Mamet doesn't use that particular curse word. Mustard Seed Theatre's production of these two plays is very well done, and it features three incredibly good performances that make this pair well worth seeing.
The evening begins with Mrs. Sorken, and actress Peggy Billo does wonderful work bringing this character to life. In a brief monologue she explains the etymology of the word drama, and gives historical perspective to how it has evolved over time. Both funny and informative, it's a perfect way to start the evening.
Next up, is Mamet's The Duck Variations, which finds Richard Lewis (as Emil Varec) and Bobby Miller (as George Aronovitz) taking their places on a park bench to offer their views on nature and the habits of ducks. But, there's a much deeper meaning in their exchanges, as we realize that their ideas could easily translate to the overly complicated world of modern human beings. With both actors possessing terrific comic timing, it's a hilarious and intriguing perspective that makes the viewer aware that man is corrupting nature to suit his own needs, and losing much in the process.
Deanna Jent's direction is superb, as always, and while both pieces could easily become static, they don't because we're drawn into their fascinating discussions. Bess Moynihan's simple lighting and scenic design act to set the scene without drawing attention away from both playwright's fascinating dialogues. Emma Bruntrager's costuming fits each of these aging characters well.
Running just a shade over an hour, there's no excuse for not taking the time to attend these clever and well written works. Do yourself a favor and check out Mustard Seed Theatre's amusing and thought-provoking production of Mrs. Sorken and The Duck Variations which runs through February 10, 2013.