Review: "Wounded" Goes Beyond Bone Deep
Written by Jiggs Burgess
Directed by Del Shores
Presented by Beard Collins Shores Productions at SoHo Playhouse
15 Vandam St., Manhattan, NYC
January 24-February 11, 2024
|Shaw Jones and Craig Taggart in Wounded. Courtesy of Beard Collins Shores Productions.
Carrol is a voluble queer man (an identity which he sees as involving more than just being gay) who has named and has conversations with the hummingbirds around his home and a grievance with the neighbors' dog. The kimono and silk pants that he wears for a visit by Robert are complemented by a spread of food appropriate for a hotel buffet. Carrol claims that food–both making and consuming it–is one of his personal crutches. Robert's, drugs and alcohol, are darker and connected to his time in prison. Now both on parole and sober, Robert has ended up living with his parents and helping to care for his father, a situation which he increasingly feels the need to escape and which parallels the more successful Carrol's reasons for returning to the town of Nowhere, Texas (pronounced "Now-Here"). The pair's catching up on such developments soon enough gives way to them delving into their shared past, a process which even early on hints at differing perspectives on these memories. Those differences find an echo in Jones and Taggart's superb performances, which effectively contrast Robert's steady reserve with the talkative and easily flustered Carrol while pointing to further layers which undermine any simple dichotomies. Carrol's behavior sometimes prevents Robert from communicating, moments that Jones at times gives a flavor or frustrated urgency, while occasionally, the way in which Taggart delivers a line, for instance, reveals a glimpse of calculation underlying his garrulousness. As tensions increase and the (largely) friendly façade that each character presents to the other threatens to fracture, the play repeatedly uncovers still deeper interpersonal currents.
|Craig Taggart and Shaw Jones in Wounded. Courtesy of Beard Collins Shores Productions.
-John R. Ziegler and Leah Richards