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 ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

New Study: Pittsburgh Drivers are The Worst of the Worst

New Study: Pittsburgh Drivers are The Worst of the Worst

Pittsburgh ties with one other city for having the worst drivers in the nation.
HGTV Series Pilot Focuses on Renovation of Pittsburgh Home

HGTV Series Pilot Focuses on Renovation of Pittsburgh Home

The pilot episode of “Steel City Rehab” follows a Pittsburgh couple as they flip a home in the city’s East End.
‘The Good Wife’s’ Zach Grenier Appears on the Pittsburgh Stage

‘The Good Wife’s’ Zach Grenier Appears on the Pittsburgh Stage

Grenier on playing the dream role of Willy Loman, coming to Pittsburgh and performing at the renowned Pittsburgh Public Theater.
Enjoy a Cocktail to Help Preserve Pittsburgh's Historic Murals

Enjoy a Cocktail to Help Preserve Pittsburgh's Historic Murals

The nearly 80-year-old murals by Maxo Vanka show an immigrant's’ perspective on important issues.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in May

Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in May

This month's best bets in the ’Burgh.
Best Doctors in Pittsburgh 2017

Best Doctors in Pittsburgh 2017

Pittsburgh’s medical lifesavers rated by their peers, including anesthesiologists, cardiologists, dermatologists, neurologists, ophthalmologists, pediatricians, psychiatrists, surgeons, urologists & many more.
Health Care in Pittsburgh that Goes Beyond the Office

Health Care in Pittsburgh that Goes Beyond the Office

Innovations in Postpartum Depression Treatment, First-Aid Training and Food Security.
Restaurant Review: DiAnoia's Eatery Bridges the Gap

Restaurant Review: DiAnoia's Eatery Bridges the Gap

With a little work, the Strip District restaurant could become a Pittsburgh classic.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


New Study: Pittsburgh Drivers are The Worst of the Worst

New Study: Pittsburgh Drivers are The Worst of the Worst

Pittsburgh ties with one other city for having the worst drivers in the nation.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Scratch Food & Beverage Has a New Executive Chef

Scratch Food & Beverage Has a New Executive Chef

Brandon Blumenfeld introduces an American gastropub menu at the Troy Hill bar.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

These spots are tailored for couples who are looking for a simple, chill night out on Valentine’s Day (or any other day). If your significant other isn’t the type to be wooed by expensive wines and chocolates, this is the list for you.

Comments


Five Essential May Events

Five Essential May Events

Comics (the kind on paper), comics (the kind with microphones), cats and more upcoming delights.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
‘Use Him Like ‘Troy Polamalu’ – Steelers Should Jump on This Pick

‘Use Him Like ‘Troy Polamalu’ – Steelers Should Jump on This Pick

If Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers is still available, the Pittsburgh Steelers would be wise to make him their first-round pick in the NFL draft.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Pittsburgh on a Plate

Pittsburgh on a Plate

The way to a beer lover’s heart is mapped out on notNeutral’s plate, which highlights Pittsburgh breweries (and other points of interest) across the city.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Sink Into a Trippy High School at Row House Cinema

Sink Into a Trippy High School at Row House Cinema

The Pittsburgh premiere of offbeat cartoon "My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea" is the local film event of the week.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Beautiful Blooms: Twists on the Traditional Bouquet

Beautiful Blooms: Twists on the Traditional Bouquet

You’ll definitely want the story behind these stunning wedding flowers.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Rare Plants, Accessories, Up for Grabs at 2017 Garden Marketplace

Rare Plants, Accessories, Up for Grabs at 2017 Garden Marketplace

Hosted by the Penn State Master Gardeners, the free event, which includes the local daffodil society’s annual show, features exclusive and hard-to-find flowers, shrubs, fruit and vegetable plants and other garden accessories from a variety of vendors.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
A-Rod to Talk Baseball and Steroids at Slippery Rock

A-Rod to Talk Baseball and Steroids at Slippery Rock

Considered one of the greatest baseball players of all time, Alex Rodriguez also is one of the league's more controversial stars.

Comments