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LOSING RACHEL, Twilight Sun Theatre Company, at Profiles Theatre. It’s not too late to stave off the yawns by transforming Louie Bruce’s script into an interactive experience. Just hand out a two-by-four with every paid admission: audience members could smash the CD player to bits rather than hear the same three grating alt-rock songs from the mid-90s over and over, then knock some sense into Bruce–who also plays the lead–every time Losing Rachel veers into predictable territory. In this thinly veiled autobiography, the protagonist is impossible to like, an antisocial alcoholic named Luke with deep commitment issues and an Oedipal complex.
Bruce’s 35-minute one-act follows Luke through a series of conversations with friends and family members who keep him in a state of utter denial by passing off his faults as strengths of character. Director Jessica Pribble makes the most of the little she’s been given to work with, though her staging is undernourished, played on the fringes of another show’s set merely draped with a cloth. Bruce’s flat, rushed delivery–each phrase bleeds into the next (“ThenIfeellikeshitbecauseIwanthertoknowIcare”)–makes it seem he’s racing to suppress a gag reflex. Though the Bud Light flows freely onstage, we can’t have any; this is a late-night bitch session without any of the fringe benefits.