Editor's note: This review of "Venus in Fur" was provided by South Carolina Repertory Company.
Experiencing "Venus in Fur," currently on stage at the South Carolina Repertory Company, is somewhat like spending a dreamlike evening at an old amusement park: You get to ride the charming merry-go-round and the slightly scary roller coaster, go through a strange tunnel of love, then eat your fill of cotton candy washed down with a shot of gin.
The play, written by David Ives and based on an 1870 German novel by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, allows the audience to be privy to the goings-on when a wild and beautiful actress auditions for the writer/director of a new play based on an old idea -- that seeing love and love-making from different and sometimes disconcerting perspectives can be exciting. But, please remember to bring a good supply of "the willing suspension of disbelief," for this outstanding production will require you think well "outside the box."
Directed with insight and sensitivity by Blake White, the SCRC production enlightens rather than offends and brings the strange story artfully out of the dark.
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However, the greatest praise must be given to Peggy Trecker and Jeffrey Scott Watkins for their portrayals of two characters who seem to be at odds, and strangely not at odds. Who argue, fight, insult and abuse each other while showing us a reality that is strong, tender and not unbelievable. We are witnessing professional actors at their best, whose years of honing their skill pays off for us.
If you love fine theater, you don't want to miss out on "Venus in Fur" through March 24.