In late 1988 Bailiwick Repertory unleashed a frighteningly funny two-scene comedy by Christopher Durang. A memorable, in-your-face action portrait of two “walking wounded” New York zanies, Laughing Wild (from the Beckett phrase “laughing wild in the severest woe”) was twisted in all the right ways. Complete with its original demented duo, it returns for a four-week engagement as a benefit for Season of Concern (Actor’s Equity’s campain to raise funds for and awareness of AIDS). Kate Goehring reprises her stunning protrayal of a manic depressive, passive-agressive, maddeningly self-conscious street crazy who once assaulted a man in a grocery store because he blocked her way to the tuna fish. Russell Rowe is the neurasthenic gay man; full of morbid self-awareness, he regales us with tales of his forcible attempts to heal himself by attending feel-good “personality workshops,” and finally joins Goehring’s nut case in a lovely ending–they celebrate the 1987 Central Park observance of the “harmonic convergence.” The brilliantly warped monologues are rambling and at times hysterically bitter. But watching these two unelash their neuroses will make you feel like there’s something to be said for insanity. Bailiwick Repertory, February 14 through March 13 (Theatre Building, 1225 W. Belmont, 327-5252). Fridays and Mondays, 7:30 PM; Sundays 7 PM. $10-$15 ($5 of which goes to Season of Concern).

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Roger Lewin–Jennifer Girard Studio.