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Live Active Cultures

Looking for a Halloween diversion devoid of lines or little kids? Consider one of these theatrical thrills.

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The Painter contains flashes of sentimentality and black humor (the Catholic priest who urges Sickert to suicide provokes grim laughter), but the bulk consists of Floyd stalking about the dimly lit space, sweating and spitting out unhinged rage. The viewer bathes in depravity and despair as he vomits one explicit defilement after another at their feet. The actors’ commitment to expressing the ecstatic intensity of sacrificial worship of the god of chaos is certifiable, and Floyd’s full-throttle insanity is impressive, but the intensity could use modulation; if it were any longer than 70 minutes, I’m not sure I’d survive.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Majestic Theater at Revolution): For a final tricky treat, Dark Side of Saturn has mounted a scrappy staging of the latter-day cult classic Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Since her 1998 stage debut, John Cameron Mitchell’s gender-bent East German glam-rocker has strutted across the stages of Orlando’s Fringe, the Abbey and (most recently) Parliament House. Now she’scompleting her gay-hangout punch card with a stay at Revolution Nightclub. This latest version, directed by Tara Corless, has an appropriately punk-rock DIY look and feel; limited lighting and terrible sound are balanced by interactive blocking and anarchic attitude. Brian Thompson nicely captures Hedwig’s humor and mercurial fragility, though he handles rock vocals better than ballads. Dorothy Massey’s Yitzhak sounds dynamite while seething with resentment, and Andy Matchett’s band (Mike Faraj, Daniel Pacchioni, Colby Peters) kicks ass. And the $1 drinks at the bar don’t hurt, either.

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