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Collapse

The August 1, 2007, I-35 Mississippi River Bridge collapse in Minneapolis serves as a backdrop for playwright Allison Moore's dark comedy on seismic shifts in collective and personal landscapes.

(Left to right) Jessica Austgen as Susan, Laurence Curry as David, and Rebecca Remaly as Hannah
(L to R) Jessica Austgen as Susan,
Laurence Curry as David,
and Rebecca Remaly as Hannah
Photo: Michael Ensminger
Set in the spring of 2009, just months after speculation in the housing industry fractured financial markets worldwide, the story tracks the aftershocks of these back-to-back twin disasters as they ripple through the lives of Hannah (Rebecca Remaly), a stressed-out attorney, and her husband, David (Laurence Curry), who suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a survivor of the bridge failure.

Remaly's Hannah is a wonder of contradictions as she tries to hold on to her job and recover her marriage from a miscarriage—triggered by uncertainty over David's whereabouts after the bridge collapse—and his growing drinking problem.

Rebecca Remaly as Hannah and Michael Morgan as Ted
Rebecca Remaly as Hannah
and Michael Morgan as Ted
Photo: Michael Ensminger
Curry navigates with aplomb the strong currents of David's psychological and emotional trauma and accompanying self-esteem issues, finding a rudder in glimpses of the mostly occluded qualities that attracted Hannah in the first place and keep her hanging on.

When Hannah's half-sister Susan (Jessica Austgen) shows up on the couple's doorstep, suitcase in hand, the last semblances of normalcy come tumbling down, sending Hannah on a wild ride to a self-help group, where she meets Ted (Michael Morgan).

Laurence Curry as David and Jessica Austgen as Susan
Laurence Curry as David
and Jessica Austgen as Susan
Photo: Michael Ensminger
Morgan's devilish charm shines as the quixotic Ted, an impotent sex addict, sharing the scribe's well measured comic relief with Austgen, who winningly bubbles forth the ditsy illogic of Susan's hippie-dippy LA mindset.

Helmer Dee Covington cleverly solves some scenic challenges, aided by yeoman's work (including a bridge section) from scenic designer Reuben Lucas.

Moore updates the standard classical comedy formula with a thoughtful conclusion. Big screen possibilities lurk, given the timeliness of the issues, potential graphic flashbacks and present dangers, as well as sharp writing.

The second of three rolling world premieres of Collapse, presented by Curious Theatre Company, runs through December 10th. 303-623-0524 or www.curioustheatre.org.

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