Irish playwright Conor McPherson has an uncanny way of insinuating the eerie into the most commonplace of events. In The Seafarer, a game of cards between brothers ends up with hellish stakes. In The Weir, dread pulls up a chair in a rural pub, patiently sips its pint—and, once the hour's grown late, cautions us that love does not end at the grave. In St. Nicholas, a jaded theater critic calmly tells us everything he learned from his time among vampires.
Burning Coal Theatre brought all three of those chilly stories to local audiences, and anticipation was already mounting for the regional premiere of McPherson's 2004 Shining City. Then, on Oct. 18, New York Times critic Ben Brantley named the play McPherson's best—and called it one of the most frightening shows he's ever seen. Well,that'llup the ante.
Davis directs John Allore, James Anderson, Nic Carter and Laura Tratnik in a tale about a psychotherapist and a grieving patient who both learn that guilt can last a lifetime. Or longer. What could be the scariest show of the season opens at 7:30 p.m. the night after Halloween and runs Thursdays–Sundays through Nov. 18. —Byron Woods