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Tuesday September 23, 2014
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Into the Wild

 

continued

Designer Vincent Mountain's towering, moist glen in northern California--with steam rising and luminous green moss creeping over everything--is the setting for the late Lanford Wilson's (Hot l Baltimore) 1993 play, which opens with a confrontation between a feral Vietnam vet named Lyman (Alex Leydenfrost) and a clever and city-pampered teenage hiker named Geri (Rainbow Dickerson).

At the time the play was written, the redwood forests around Eureka were host to a number of traumatized Vietnam vets who would come down from the woods to lurk around the coffee shops, cadge a few supplies, and disappear again. Geri has followed this one into the woods and whines around him like a mosquito, pelting him with questions. She thinks he may be her father.

He may or may not be, and I won't give away the secret, but I will say that it's not a slobbery, sentimental Hallmark-card story. The plot is rich with unpredictability, but Wilson is a good storyteller who can whack a strong path through a thicket of his own creation.

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