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

 

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Just Released: Trailer for Jake Gyllenhaal's New Movie Shot in Pittsburgh

Just Released: Trailer for Jake Gyllenhaal's New Movie Shot in Pittsburgh

The boxing drama "Southpaw" is set to arrive in theaters in late July.
Pittsburgh’s Billy Gardell Hosts ‘Monopoly’ Game Show

Pittsburgh’s Billy Gardell Hosts ‘Monopoly’ Game Show

The “Monopoly Millionaire’s Club” premieres this weekend.
Cutch Cuts the Locks

Cutch Cuts the Locks

The Pirates outfielder cut his hair for the first time in eight years.
Pens Honor Mike Lange for 40 Years of Unforgettable Play-by-Play

Pens Honor Mike Lange for 40 Years of Unforgettable Play-by-Play

How many of his classic calls can you recite?
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Pittsburgh's Top 10 in April

Pittsburgh's Top 10 in April

The 10 best things to do in April in Pittsburgh.
20 Great Biking & Hiking Trails in Western Pennsylvania

20 Great Biking & Hiking Trails in Western Pennsylvania

Each trail has been lovingly constructed and maintained, using old infrastructure to reconnect disparate communities.
A Superior Strategy? Kevin Sousa's Big Bet on Braddock

A Superior Strategy? Kevin Sousa's Big Bet on Braddock

Pittsburgh chef Kevin Sousa will draw on a fierce work ethic, community goodwill and faith in his own vision for Superior Motors, the progressive American spot he plans to open this year.
Getting Better Over Time: PNC Park at 15

Getting Better Over Time: PNC Park at 15

Adoration for PNC Park is near-universal. But would the park be the cherished baseball palace it is today if a few early proposals instead had become reality?
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Everything That's Awesome About Pittsburgh Today
Just Released: Trailer for Jake Gyllenhaal's New Movie Shot in Pittsburgh

Just Released: Trailer for Jake Gyllenhaal's New Movie Shot in Pittsburgh

The boxing drama "Southpaw" is set to arrive in theaters in late July.

Comments


Pittsburgh, only cooler
19 Ways Pittsburgh Earned the “Quirky” Label

19 Ways Pittsburgh Earned the “Quirky” Label

Stand proud, Pittsburgh: Our brand of quirky is a good thing — positive, uplifting, fun, colorful, imaginative.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Culinary Excellence: 13 Renowned Chefs Serve Once-in-a-Lifetime Meal in Pittsburgh

Culinary Excellence: 13 Renowned Chefs Serve Once-in-a-Lifetime Meal in Pittsburgh

Justin Severino and Hilary Prescott Severino assembled locally and nationally recognized chefs for Wednesday's James Beard Foundation dinner.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
10 Best Hand Tools You Didn’t Know You Needed (and They All Cost Less Than $20)

10 Best Hand Tools You Didn’t Know You Needed (and They All Cost Less Than $20)

You don’t have to be a handyman to be handy with those spring projects, if you have the right equipment.

Comments


Bar Exam: bellfarm Kitchen | Bar

Bar Exam: bellfarm Kitchen | Bar

The Hyatt Regency Pittsburgh International Airport's new bar & restaurant wants to be more than just a hotel joint.

Comments


10 Reasons Why You Should Attend This Weekend's Farm to Table Pittsburgh Conference

10 Reasons Why You Should Attend This Weekend's Farm to Table Pittsburgh Conference

Get the lowdown on one of the best food events of the season.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Spring Fling

Spring Fling

Add some warmth to your table with these nature-inspired plates and bowls from artist Lisa Neimeth.

Comments


This week's buzz from the PM editors
George Takei Appears at Pittsburgh's First Humanities Festival

George Takei Appears at Pittsburgh's First Humanities Festival

On Sunday, find out why the Daily Dot in 2012 declared Takei the most influential person on Facebook.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Cultures Collide: Multi-Traditional Weddings

Cultures Collide: Multi-Traditional Weddings

When the bride and groom hail from different backgrounds, a planning balancing act ensues. Here are two weddings that incorporate Hindu culture with style.

Comments


The latest tips and trends to refresh your home.
Design Tip: Use Hardware to Revamp Dressers & Cabinets

Design Tip: Use Hardware to Revamp Dressers & Cabinets

Tailor knobs and pulls to each room in your home.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Three Pittsburgh Heavyweights to Team Up on Data Mining

Three Pittsburgh Heavyweights to Team Up on Data Mining

With backing from UPMC, scientists at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh on Monday announced a three-way collaboration to use the digital data to revolutionize health care.

Comments


Thinking outside the box (score)
Death to the NFL Salary Cap

Death to the NFL Salary Cap

It doesn’t provide parity or competitive balance. The salary cap just steals millions from players who, rightfully, want to retire before hits to the head could ruin their life.

Comments


Award-winning sports commentary by Sean Conboy
R.I.P. Corporate Penguins, 2009-2014

R.I.P. Corporate Penguins, 2009-2014

Fire Bylsma? Fire Shero? The Penguins' problems run deeper.

Comments