Toil and Trouble

“For a theater company known for its radical interpretations of the Shakespearean canon, a play such as Lauren Gunderson’s Toil and Trouble, a goofy Generation Why retelling of Macbeth, is a particularly good fit for Impact Theatre. Whittled down to a dynamic three-character chamber play featuring delusionary slackers plotting to turn their MBAs and nebulous SF Giants connections into a bloodless takeover of a remote island nation rather than get crappy café jobs to pay the rent, Toil throws baseball, investors, Wikipedia, fortune cookies, hypothetical sex, and real violence into one cauldron, letting them bubble and froth throughout the piece. The so-crazy-it-might-just-work plan hatched by Adam (Michael Delaney), a relentlessly cheerful narcissist, quickly leads to tension between the three, especially once the potential payout is estimated at 30 million dollars, and before their plot is even finalized, a tenuous, murderous alliance forms between the insufferably wimpy Matt (Will Hand) and the rage-aholic Beth (Jeanette Penley). All three actors play their all-too-familiar characters to the hilt, and Josh Costello’s direction is deft and assured. A surprise twist subverts the expected lull of tragedy, and all is resolved, more or less, in a manner more appropriate to this time and place than Shakespeare’s, though not without some grand sound and fury beforehand, signifying both.” – SF Bay Guardian

“An uproarious, modern-day comedy… intelligent, pointed humor” – Daily Cal

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