Quantcast

Make it a Raw Night with Bricolage's Hunter Gatherers

A dinner party that swiftly spirals out of control, Hunter Gatherers is not for the tame of heart.

 hunter gatherers

Tressa Glover and Jonathan Visser star in Peter Sinn Nachtrieb’s Hunter Gatherers, which opens tonight.

Photo by Rob Long, Clear Story Creative

 

The beautiful thing about theater companies like Bricolage Production Co. is their willingness to do work that would make other theaters shudder. Risky, bold, daring—even controversial—work has a home with companies like this one, where little is impossible and nothing is taboo.

The beautiful thing about Bricolage in particular is the talent and vision to succeed with such material, where many other companies would flounder.

It takes a special kind of theatrical madness to conquer a work like Peter Sinn Nachtrieb’s sizzling Hunter Gatherers. That most steadfast of settings—the dinner party—becomes the grounds for sex, violence, partial insanity, revelation and blood sacrifice of several varieties. It is, of course, a comedy. In a safer context, Hunter Gatherers would be a comedy of manners with subtle implication and unspoken desire hinting at human nature; from the mind of Nachtrieb, suggestion and innuendo are replaced with furious, almost primal abandon.

Which is a fancy way of saying that this is a fantastic show—probably the best I’ve seen in years here in Pittsburgh.

A quartet of high school buddies reunite for a yearly get-together at the home of the infinitely passionate Richard and the smiling, meek Pam, an odd couple seemingly held together by Richard’s insistence and little else. When their pals—free spirit Wendy and sad-sack doctor Tom—arrive, it takes little more than a glass of wine to bring things crashing down. Of course, a meek lamb named Carl has already met his match, but things were going swimmingly then.

The show is immaculately cast with born hunters Wendy and Richard expending superhuman energy and inconceivable mental gymnastics over their repressed counterparts. ‘Burgh newcomer Jonathan Visser turns Richard into a tribal whirlwind, hopping from one mad truth to another effortlessly and energetically. Tressa Glover’s tame Pam may be among the gatherers, but it’s really her show, and the other three are in a psychotic orbit around her at all times.

It goes without saying that Hunter Gatherers is not for the tame of heart (and especially not for children), but to truly take in this show, a bit more is required.

Before going to see Hunter Gatherers—and you absolutely must go—I need to strongly recommend that you eat first. Go to Hyde Park Steakhouse and order a huge portion of something rare. A T-bone, maybe. Just not lamb.

Walk over the bridge. Breathe the cool spring air. Take it all in. And when you feel you’re in tune with Pittsburgh, full and happy, it is now time to have a seat and watch this show.

Afterward, go around the corner to August Henry’s City Saloon and have a few drinks while discussing what just happened and what it meant, and how they manage to clean up all the lamb juice, blood and Chex Mix every night.

Director Jeffrey Carpenter and his crew have put together one of the must-see shows of this or any year, and it’s a calling card for Bricolage—a notice that they’ve firmly entered the discussion as one of the best companies in town.
 

Bricolage Theater, 937 Liberty Ave., downtown. Thursdays-Sundays, April 14-May 7. Thu., Fri., Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun, 7 p.m. No show Easter Sunday. 9 p.m. start on Fri., April 29. Not appropriate for younger audiences. $17-$40. Info: webbricolage.org

 

The 412

Pittsburgh Becomes the First U.S. City to Win a Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award

Pittsburgh Becomes the First U.S. City to Win a Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award

We now have something in common with the cronut.
'No Summer in Pittsburgh is Complete Without ...'

'No Summer in Pittsburgh is Complete Without ...'

We asked a half-dozen notable locals to finish that very sentence.
Nostalgia Overload: Throwback Commercials From Pittsburgh’s Past

Nostalgia Overload: Throwback Commercials From Pittsburgh’s Past

Come for the nostalgia, stay for KDKA’s John Cigna being kidnapped via helicopter.
Iron Worker Relaxes on I-Beam at the Top of PNC Plaza, Takes Bonkers Photo

Iron Worker Relaxes on I-Beam at the Top of PNC Plaza, Takes Bonkers Photo

This man is not to be trifled with, you guys.

Hot Reads

7 Things You Need to Know About the Pittsburgh Marathon

7 Things You Need to Know About the Pittsburgh Marathon

Before you head for the course, brush up on etiquette for the race.
Best Doctors 2014

Best Doctors 2014

We present to your our list of the 608 leading regional physicians across 77 specialties.
Review: Crested Duck Restaurant

Review: Crested Duck Restaurant

Crested Duck is a prime place to enjoy cured meats, pickled plates and European-inspired bistro dishes, such as chicken roulade.
Crazy in Love, Even at 40

Crazy in Love, Even at 40

As PittGirl approaches her 40th birthday, she rekindles her love for Pittsburgh.

On the Blogs


Everything That's Awesome About Pittsburgh Today
Pittsburgh Becomes the First U.S. City to Win a Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award

Pittsburgh Becomes the First U.S. City to Win a Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award

We now have something in common with the cronut.

Comments


Pittsburgh, only cooler
The ’Burghy Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2014

The ’Burghy Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2014

Just say no to fruit baskets and Amazon gift cards.

Comments


Award-winning sports commentary by Sean Conboy
Steelers Will Declare a 'No-Fly Zone' With First Round Pick

Steelers Will Declare a 'No-Fly Zone' With First Round Pick

Save yourself from countless nonsensical mock drafts. The Steelers are locked in on one player.

Comments


Mango Crepes With Coconut Cream

Mango Crepes With Coconut Cream

The perfect dish for Easter brunch.

Comments


Bar Exam: Kelly’s Bar & Lounge

Bar Exam: Kelly’s Bar & Lounge

We head to the East Liberty stalwart and find the comfort bar in its perfect form.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Comfort Never Looked So Dapper

Comfort Never Looked So Dapper

Must haves to keep you looking as debonair as Don Draper.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Fukuda Brings Back Lunch, Better Than Before

Fukuda Brings Back Lunch, Better Than Before

New chef Micah Maughan and executive chef TJ are offering the usual bento boxes along with additions including Indian vegetarian curry.

Comments


This week's buzz from the PM editors
Go Back in Time at The Oaks Theater

Go Back in Time at The Oaks Theater

Stop in tonight for a screening of "Dirty Dancing," and cross your fingers that the cinema will show another '80s flick at some point.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Pitt Receives $300,000 NFL Grant for Concussion Research

Pitt Receives $300,000 NFL Grant for Concussion Research

Grant will fund a joint effort by UPMC and Pitt to assess the ability of new brain imaging technology to track concussions and recoveries.

Comments