by Charles Ludlam. Directed by Shade Murray
Things at The Artificial Jungle, the dilapidated pet store owned by mild-mannered Chester Nurdiger (Ed Jones*), are pretty routine. The devoted Mother Nurdiger (David Cerda*) does her best to give her son everything he needs, but there are some things a mother just can’t provide. Chester’s wife, the sultry and stifled Roxanne Nurdiger (Sydney Genco*), is as restless as one of the hamsters in a cage, and when Zachary Slade, a mysterious drifter (David Lipschutz*) enters the picture, passions run wild. Roxanne and Zachary have the perfect plan to get rid of Chester and live the life Roxanne craves.
Combining elements of Therese Raquin, Double Indemnity and even Little Shop of Horrors – THE ARTIFICIAL JUNGLE is a masterful mélange of styles that leave no doubt as to why the playwright, the late Charles Ludlam, considered one of the creators of the Theatre of the Ridiculous. It’s also the perfect fit for Hell in a Handbag Productions -- Chicago’s leading theater dedicated to ridiculousness, camp and parody.