This will be an interruption in regular programming. A professor of literature is recounting the surreal events of his recent life to his friend, a psychoanalyst, in a series of flashbacks that melt into one another. The musical hallucinations are getting worse: A cheesy dance band accompanies a visit to his mother in a convalescent home, and conversations with his wife seem set toTannhauser. Out of nowhere, a louche Marlene Dietrich warbles "Falling in Love Again" when a student he's probably falling for arrives for a conference. Then Hitler—or Charlie Chaplin—shows up, playing a Yiddish wedding song.
Oh,that: We're in Frankfurt. It's sometime in the 1930s. The Nazis are on the rise. And their top leadership has taken a particular interest in the professor's latest novel. Its subject: his difficult decision to help a beloved parent commit euthanasia.Of course, our professor is disturbed about a number of the Nazis' positions. But can he resist their invitation to join the party? Should he? And why does everything seem so unreal?
Ian Finley directs this controversial holocaust-era tale with a cast including Steven Roten, Julie Oliver, Tamara Kraus and Paul Paliyenko. Performances are Thursdays–Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through Feb. 17. Tickets run $10–$25; visit burningcoal.org. —Byron Woods