Adultery: A User's Guide

Good news. The Promethean Theatre is a young company to watch, and its debut production of Orange Flower Water is as exciting as it is promising. Directed by Margaret M. Ledford with a keen eye for detail, the local premiere of Craig Wright's intense domestic drama treks through familiar territory with a good traveler's eye for surprise.

Wright delivers, Ledford's cast is game, and a simple plot of adultery and betrayal packs a punch and always rings true. The setting is Pine City, Minnesota, but it might as well be Miami Lakes. The marriage of a pharmacist and a choral director is being torn apart by the husband's affair with a house- wife married to a video-store clerk. Somewhere between the weighty Scenes from a Marriage and the fluffy Same Time Next Year, Wright's little user's guide to adultery brings to life conflicts of love and duty, of lust and the passage of time. Giving up on reason as the ruler of their passions, the married foursome become mere witnesses to the spectacle of their lives unraveling. The conclusion is uplifting, ironic, or both.

The immensely likable Andy Quiroga brings complexity and relish to the philandering pharmacist. Elda Elisa Brouwer adds a dangerous edge to his betrayed wife's plight. Beth McIntosh lets the script's sophomoric religious debates emerge with an aging sophomore's touching charm. Eric Lavoie seems overtaxed by his role as the betrayed lug, erring on the side of humor rather than pathos. It still works, though. Don't miss this one.

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