“Landscape of the Body” a Comic Tale to Die For

Eveyone loves a good ghost story—especially when it’s funny, as is Landscape of the Body, a 1977 stunner being revived by the new Prufrock Theatre tonight through November 21 at the Minneapolis Theatre Garage. It was written by John Guare, the playwright who coined an enduring cultural reference with his incisive Six Degrees of Separation.

The play is an ocassionally surreal headspinner following the heartbreaking longings of such characters as a ghost who wishes for the sensual pleasures of life, her sister who may be a murderer, and others in a large and eager cast. Leah Cooper, the erstwhile head of the Minnesota Fringe Festival, takes the directorial reins of what may be one of the most inspired revivals in local theater this season.

On November 20, another youthful, scrappy company—Walking Shadow Theatre—digs back into the Neil LaBute repertory for Some Girl(s) after the success of its recent Fat Pig production. LaBute was hailed as the contemporary playwright with the most fire in his pen as recently as five years ago, a ferociously articulate observer of man’s unpretty instincts, though the filmed versions of his stories have tended to mistake heartdroppingly pathetic manipulation for simple meanness and inspired a backlash of sorts. To ride the emotional rollercoaster of best work on the stage is to come to terms with the way we treat those we declare to love.

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