City Paper is not for tourists
“The road to other people is paved with good intentions.” “Other people hath no fury like a woman scorned.” Take Jean-Paul Sartre at his word—that “Hell is other people”—and the absurdist possibilities become endless. So do the comic possibilities, a fact made intermittently clear in Robert McNamara’s revival of Scena Theatre’s well-received 2005 production of No Exit. Barely 90 minutes long (Sartre wrote it during the Nazi occupation of Paris and designed it to let the audience out before curfew), the evening throws together three recently deceased sinners—a cowardly journalist, a manipulative lesbian postal clerk, and a snootily callous society dame—in a white-on-white hotel room that they slowly realize is not a way station on the way to hell but hell itself. Performers Regen Wilson, Elle Wilhite, and Maura Stadem seem decently matched to torment one another for all eternity, though in the event, they reach a snarling stalemate pretty quickly. The director might have softened that a bit but seems content to go for the jugular early and often. Happily, he’s also paced things at a ferocious clip, and the design work—particularly Marianne Meadows’ surprisingly varied lighting—is exemplary. Performances begin at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays and 3 p.m. Sundays, to Sunday, Oct. 21, at the Warehouse Theater’s 2nd Stage, 1021 7th St. NW. $25–$30. (703) 684-7990.