158 N. Broadway, Milwaukee, WI, 53202
The theater world loves nothing better than to poke fun at itself. Playwright Theresa Rebeck obligingly accommodates with current production, The Understudy. Smartly directed by Mallory Metoxen, the three-character play begins with a long monologue by Harry, an accomplished (if unknown) actor who is cast as the understudy in a Broadway play. Harry has a sizable chip on his shoulder about his mixed achievements as an actor; during his monologue he unconvincingly claims that he’s “not bitter.” His dialogue doesn’t support this, nor does the arrival of the leading actor, Jake. The laughs flow smoothly in between bits of dialogue from Kafka’s horrid play in this clever 90-minute production, which runs through Feb. 9.