It’s as sexy and dangerous feeling as it gets. A tantalizing bit of voyeurism mixed with first-rate drama.
In their Boston-premier staging of this long-lost 1971 work by Tennessee Williams, Company One takes you to an intimate hotel room several floors up in the historic Ames Building between Downtown Crossing and the Business District.
Seated in one of 25 chairs, you are cordially introduced to your hostess, a femme fatale on her honeymoon (Erin Markey) who soon reveals the naked, bruised body, over which the evening’s argument will be fought.
Why the bruises? That’s what her husband (Alan Brinks), a sullen soldier on leave from “Waakow,” wants to know. Between whiskey swigs, cigarette drags and clenched teeth, he accuses her of slinking off with another man on their wedding night while he was near blotto in a Bourbon Street bar. She parries that the bruises are his doing, and the fantasy, akin to the others he’s been slipping in and out of due to P.T.S.D. Each argument feels persuasive as they roll and tumble for dominance with seduction and violence the alternating currents of their long morning after.
The mortal combat of the sexes is timeless (and dramatized by none better than this master) but “Green Eyes” also zeroes in on gender roles against which we’re still reacting by showing the torture a soldier goes through when told he must enact violence against his instincts and without provocation in a foreign land and yet remain restrained and stoic in the face of ultimate provocation in the domestic sphere. Meanwhile, his wife vies for what power she is allowed through mastery of the most powerful weapon at her disposal: her sexuality.
“Green Eyes” is electric and unforgettable—and Company One is really on a roll.
Directed by Travis Chamberlain, “Green Eyes” plays through February 26.