Best Play - 2010
It wasn't particularly brave of director Joseph Adler to mount a production of this extremely controversial play, and that's because he couldn't have resisted anyway. Blasted is the ideal play for Adler's GableStage — a powerfully moral tale wrapped in extremely weird and frequently disturbing packaging. In it, Adler introduced us to a girl with developmental disabilities, and then he introduced us to the man who would soon rape her. He staged the rape and then blew apart a hotel room. He made us feel sorry for the man who committed that rape — even though he was more of a reptile than a person, and even though he probably deserved everything he got. Then Adler brought a baby onstage, which he had killed. Then he made the rapist and his victim reunite — sweetly — and he made us happy they did. Then he made us realize we loved the rapist, because his humanity had been made so obvious and so luminously lovely. Having achieved this, Adler made rain fall from the hole in what used to be the hotel room's ceiling, and it was beautiful. Look past the rape, the cannibalism, and the mind-numbing violence that made this play infamous, and you'll find actor Todd Allen Durkin giving the performance of a lifetime, a set design as shockingly ingenious as the script is weird, and a story more soulful than any sweeter tale.