‘Reckless’ set to hit the stage at McDaniel

April 06, 2009

Caught in precarious predicaments, people instinctively seek to understand the reason for their trials and tribulations. “Why is this happening to me?” is the all-too-common refrain that often leads them on the path of self-discovery and growth.

It is this human instinct that lies at the heart of McDaniel College’s latest stage production, “Reckless,” a dark dream-like comedy that has had successful runs both on- and off-Broadway.

“Reckless,” which is open to the public, will be performed at 7:30 p.m. April 22-25 in WMC Alumni Hall. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for seniors and students. To contact the box office, call 410-857-2448.

It’s Christmas Eve, when the main character, Rachel, is informed by her husband that he has hired a hitman to kill her, and she must flee for her life – which she does by scrambling out the bedroom window and into the snowy night.

Rachel meets Lloyd Bophtelophti, a fellow who has changed his name to avoid alimony payments and who now lives with his deaf paraplegic wife, Pooty. Free from her role of the archetypal housewife, Rachel begins a years-long journey of darkly comedic escapades that test her, teach her, and transform her, according to Director Josh Selzer, who is also arts manager for McDaniel’s Theatre on the Hill.

Selzer said he chose this production because he wanted to explore the human need for explanation, for justification.

“Rachel, like all human beings, looks for reasons for her predicament – she needs to understand why what’s happened to her has happened to her,” Selzer said. “Once she accepts the fact that ‘things just happen’ she is finally able to let go of her past and move on and have a productive life helping others.”

The show has 28 scenes and spans nearly 20 years of Rachel’s life. “Reckless” was first performed off-Broadway in 1983 and was then revived by the Circle Repertory Theatre in 1988, Selzer said. In 1995, “Reckless” was made into a movie starring Mia Farrow as Rachel. In 2004, the show was produced on Broadway with Mary-Louise Parker playing Rachel.

“Reckless” is a good production for theatre students, Selzer said, because it’s an ensemble piece and allows most of the actors to play several roles. Rachel’s character is especially demanding because she is onstage for nearly every moment of the play, he said.

Selzer said he hopes the production will entertain and inspire audiences to reflect on their own circumstances.

“The ‘things just happen’ message is a simple, but relevant, one.”