Rashomon
Theatre Vertigo
through April 16

Married couple Takehiko (Tom Moorman) and Kinume (Nanette Pettit) are attacked while out in the woods. The attacker is the bandit Tajomaru (Song Kim), who proceeds to tie Takehiko up, force himself on Kinume, and then kill Takehiko. This is the simple sequence of events that Ryunosuke Akutagawa so famously toys with in Rashomon. Truth and point of view become intertwined as we hear the story from the perspective of each major player. Tajomaru has his version; Kinume has hers; Takehiko, back from the dead and aided by a ghostly medium has his. Was it rape? Was it a twisted form of adultery? Who really killed this man? Akutagawa isn't telling, though he does give a final version of the story from an outside party, which, if not definitive, is at least damn surprising, not to mention hilarious.

Theatre Vertigo's handling of all this is amazing. The textual adaptation by Fay and Michael Kanin is light and crisp, while maintaining the nebulous moral center that makes the story so compelling. Debra-Ann Lund's direction is tight, moving from perspective to perspective with almost supernatural ease. Telling the same story with four different subtle variations and still keeping it entertaining is no easy feat, but Ann Lund and her talented cast are more than up to the task.

There's also sword fighting, love making, and marital strife, AND it's all set in the 12th century. I think it's safe to say that this show has it all.