The Other Place at Utah Rep is a multi-dimensional puzzle of contradictory dialogue and timelines, unspoken worry and half-remembrances that add up to a tight 88 minutes of great theater.
The play is narrated and driven by Juliana, a successful neurologist whose life is unraveling. Her professional victories are unquestionable, but at home, her husband is filing for a divorce, her daughter has disappeared with a much older man and her own health is in jeopardy.
What we have here is one of them unreliable narrator types. Right from the start we know we can’t trust her but unraveling the why is all the fun.
To keep the plates spinning, this taut script requires brittle and courageous performances from its actors. It is served well by its leading lady, Stephanie Howell, who ratchets up the tension and carefully walks her character through feints, dodges and breakdowns with cold precision. Juliana’s husband, played by Eric Cadora, holds up his end of the bargain as the bewildered punching bag for his wife’s startling cruelty and together the duo ratchet up the tension to 11. Supporting players Andrea Peterson and Jay C. Stoddard, tick the remaining boxes but this is Howell’s show from start to finish and her performance alone is worth the price of admission.
Why the blurry house? Go see it and find out!
The Other Place runs through March 4 in the Black Box Theater at the Sorenson Unity Center (1383 S. 900 West, SLC). Tickets and more info here.