David’s Redhaired Death, Siren Productions, at the Chopin Theatre. The most frustrating aspect of Sherry Kramer’s play isn’t the grossly underdeveloped characters or the conspicuous absence of plot–it’s the distressing lack of clarity. Kramer hasn’t written a single line of dialogue that isn’t stilted, and there seems to be no emotional weight behind her hollow words. The characters rarely communicate with each other; instead, they deliver the script’s boring platitudes and long-winded monologues directly to the audience through a microphone center stage.

Supposedly David’s Redhaired Death deals with the ravaging effects of a man’s death on his sister’s relationship with her girlfriend. Not that you can tell, given the inordinate amount of time the characters devote to hard-hitting issues like the color and style of their hair. The only element that suggests Kramer’s intent is her wholesale, tedious repetition of words, phrases, and speeches.

Both actresses in this Siren production attempt to compensate for the script’s deficiencies by overacting; they repeatedly make eye contact with a third actor who periodically disrupts the action by moving unwieldy set pieces around, but no effort is made to explain his random appearances onstage. That’s only a small part of what makes Christian Garrett Addams’s staging muddled and blatantly untheatrical. David’s Redhaired Death is the company’s first production, which perhaps excuses the botched cues and flubbed lines. Everything else is cruel and unusual punishment. –Nick Green