Theater: Burn This

Friday, May 9

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Hat Trick Theatre ends a streak of comedies with a new production this Friday: Lanford Wilson's riveting drama, Burn This. The playwright's 38th work is filled with his trademark outcast characters, each seething with his or her own inner turmoil. Anna is an up-and-coming Manhattan dancer/choreographer who's recovering from the unexpected death of her gay roommate and collaborative partner, Robbie. Her other (still-living) gay roommate is Larry, a jaded, acerbically witty young advertising executive who takes care of her emotional needs and serves as the play's comic foil. Her on-again, off-again boyfriend, Burton, is a well-meaning Hollywood hack; he supplies the dramatic tension that occurs when Pale, Robbie's vulgar and volatile older brother, arrives to collect his brother's belongings and, despite being the seeming opposite of Anna, attracts her attention and draws her in by revealing his unexpected sensitivity. The play first opened in Los Angeles in 1987 and starred Joan Allen opposite John Malkovich. Joe Winskye directs the local incarnation, which features April Bender, Kevin Whalin, Steve Fisher and Chris Rutherford. An opening-night party with free food and drink kicks off after this Friday's show. May 9-25, 8 p.m. Thurs.-Sat., 3 p.m. Sun., Silver Meteor Gallery, 2213 E. Sixth Ave., Ybor City, $12 general online/$14 at the door ($9 students and seniors), 813-300-3585, hattricktheatre.org.

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