Review: ‘Exit, Pursued by a Bear’ has teeth, but lacks bite

ENTB_ExitBear_1023

Though there are problems with both the play and the production, Theatre on Fire’s “Exit, Pursued by a Bear” is still worth seeing.

The 80-minute tale of a browbeaten woman, Nan, taking theatrically inspired revenge on her abusive, lowlife husband Kyle is rife with funny moments and one-liners written sharply enough that they seem designed to induce belly laughter. Unfortunately, the delivery of those lines isn’t always quite as razor sharp.

As if blunderingly pursued by the title beast, the actors are too often stepping all over each other’s lines. Director Darren Evans would do well to slow the pace, allowing the audience to hear one line (and likely laugh) before the next one begins. As is, the production feels rushed, contrived and barely conversational.

Timing, however, isn’t the only issue with “Exit, Pursued by a Bear.” Playwright Lauren Gunderson smartly uses humor to tackle the topic of domestic violence. When it’s time to get serious, however, there just isn’t enough depth to her characters for the audience to truly feel their pain. The last 10 minutes of the play crawl on, followed by a pointless, poorly executed karaoke scene that should have been left on the proverbial cutting room floor.

It’s not all bad, however. Tim Hoover is convincingly creepy in his disturbing portrayal of Kyle, who spends most of the show bound and gagged with duct tape, watching a series of vignettes performed by his wife’s best gal pals.

Samantha Evans garners the most empathy in her portrayal of Sweetheart, a local stripper with big Hollywood dreams. Cameron Gosselin, meanwhile, hits some of the funniest marks as flamboyant gay best friend Simon, but — aside from over-the-top camp — his role is never really fleshed out. As the Jimmy Carter-worshipping Nan, who should stand strong as the show’s protagonist taking matters into her own hands, Mary-Liz Murray is dull and rather lifeless.

There are high points in the show, moments that hit nerves both comical and uncomfortable. But, without compassion, the story never fulfills its dark, insightful potential.

“Exit, Pursued by a Bear”
Through Oct. 26
Charlestown Working Theater
442 Bunker Hill St., Charlestown
$20, 866-811-4111
theatreonfire.org



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Police seek man accidentally released a year early…

Cops are keeping an eye out for a Bronx man who was reportedly let out of Rikers Island a year before his released date.

National

Pioneers for domestic violence push on

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article. Two decades have passed since the O.J. Simpson trial captivated the country. But in the 20 years…

Local

Newest java joint in bastion of hipness is…

Little may represent the change the neighborhood is undergoing right now like the arrival of the first Starbucks. The chain which is ubiquitous in Manhattan, opened a Williamsburg store at…

National

Black and white are the new orange at…

By Brendan O'Brien(Reuters) - Black and white are the new orange in a Michigan county where the sheriff has made a wardrobe change for jail…

Music

Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks more accessible than Animal…

Believe it or not, Avey Tare — the man in the mustachioed mask pictured here in the pool of blood — may have made the poppiest music of his career.

Entertainment

‘The Leftovers’ recap: Season 1, Episode 4, ‘B.J.…

Last week’s episode of “The Leftovers” was apparently a fluke, because this week’s episode returns to focusing on the Garveys and it is so boring.…

Movies

Interview: Luc Besson says 'Lucy' is very different…

Filmmaker Luc Besson talks about his new film "Lucy," how it's different than "Limitless" and his crazy first conversation with Egyptian actor Amr Waked.

Music

Weezer releases first new song since 2010

Weezer releases "Back to the Shack," their first new song in almost six years.

NFL

'Vicktory dogs' travel road to rehabilitation seven years…

Of the dozens of dogs groomed by Bad Newz Kennels, 48 were rescued and 22 of the pit bull terriers have emerged at Best Friends Animal Society.

MLB

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according…

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according to report

NFL

Giants lineman Chris Snee to retire: Reports

The Giants report to training camp on Tuesday, but Chris Snee may not be there when they do.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony talks about his charity work in…

As he is used to doing every year, NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony is going to visit Puerto Rico to do work for his foundation.

Tech

RocketSkates let users roll with a motor

Los Angeles company Acton has raised funds on Kickstarter to roll out a nifty alternative – motor-powered "RocketSkates."

Tech

Knicks star Carmelo Anthony becomes a tech entrepreneur

He's been an All-Star, an Olympian, and a celebrity spokesperson. Now NBA player Carmelo Anthony is adding the position "tech entrepreneur" to his resume. Along…

Tech

Ulises 1 is the world's first singing satellite

A group of artists and engineers in Mexico have unveiled Ulises 1, the world's first opera-singing satellite.

Home

Wallscape on a budget

Skip the wallpaper and ombre an accent wall instead.