"Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them"

From left to right: Leslie Glassmire as Luella, Laura Blackwell as Felicity and Don Taco as Leonard rehearse a scene from "Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them." The comedy by Christopher Durang will be performed Sunday by the Majestic Reader's Theatre. 

Provided photo by John Elliott

The political humor in Christopher Durang's "Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them" is as relevant now as it was in 2011, when it was first performed, says director John Elliott.

The comedy, which is the next production by the Majestic Reader's Theatre, includes themes of demonizing foreigners on little or no evidence, the dichotomy between Republicans and Democrats, and, as the title suggests, torture.

"All of those things are in there," Elliott said.

The play will have two performances Sunday in the Majestic Lab Theatre.

The story begins when a young woman, Felicity, played by Laura Blackwell, wakes up one morning in a motel room next to a man she doesn't know. She soon discovers that his name is Zamir (Gary Prince), and they are married. Zamir's behavior and the odd things he says suggest that he may be a terrorist.

"Now she's hooked up with this terrorist and doesn't know what to do, so she goes home to try to get her parents to help in solving the problem," Elliott said.

Felicity introduces Zamir to her parents, Luella and Leonard, played by Leslie Glassmire and Don Taco. The parents are also an odd pair.

"There are sharp political divisions in the play between the different characters," Elliott said.

Despite the quirks in the show, Elliott said audiences will be able to relate to the characters, especially Blackwell's Felicity.

"She brings such a warmth and vulnerability to the role, as well as a hardness to the character," he added.

The remaining cast members are Bernadette Bascom, Dorrie Board and Nik Kassatkin.

Elliott said "Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them" is largely based on Durang's own dysfunctional household when he was growing up.

"There are characters in here who will tug at your heartstrings and others who will make you laugh unendingly," Elliott said. "And there's probably a couple you might want to strangle."


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