LOU'S VIEWS: Kondrat gives inspired performance in 'Menagerie' spoof

February 9, 2009

When playwright Christopher Durang is in control— and when he's got a cast in sync with his satirical world— the results can be hilarious. When his desire seems just to be more outrageous at every turn— the results can be awkwardly exhausting. His anchor-less "Titanic," which occupies the entire second half of InterAction Theatre's "Durang-ORama" (through Feb. 14 at the IndyFringe building, 719 E. St. Clair St., 767-7683), is an unfortunate case of the latter.

A shame, since Diane Kondrat, in the first half's "Glass Menagerie" spoof  "For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls," gives one of the more inspired performances I've seen on Indy stages in years. Kondrat could have cartooned it. But, instead, she finds the core truth of the character, providing just enough reality to make us care about this put-upon woman saddled with two very needy kids (one of whom has a penchant for collecting glass swizzle sticks). Sharply directed by Julia Televiak, "Southern Belle" raises the bar to a point that the rest of "Durang-O-Rama" can't quite reach (although the one piece with a heart, "Funeral Parlor," featuring Kondrat and Bill Simmons, comes close.)

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