Kennedy Theatre, Progress Energy Center—Hot Summer Nights at the Kennedy continues its repertoire with one of Sam Shepard's most famous and most bitter plays, True West. Brothers Matt and Dan Bogart take on the roles of Austin and Lee, made famous by Gary Sinise and John Malkovich in the 1982 Steppenwolf Theatre Company revival and reprised a few years back on Broadway with John C. Reilly and Philip Seymour Hoffman switching the roles nightly.
True West takes a modern and satirical look at America's mythologized view of the Old West by grounding it in American dysfunction. Austin (Dan Bogart) is a screenwriter who pecks away at his typewriter daily trying to get a big deal, while Lee (Matt Bogart) is a drunken drifter with a penchant for thievery. When Lee stumbles back into Austin's life, he winds up hijacking Austin's deal, forcing the brothers into a role-reversal that climaxes in a brutal showdown involving family issues and a lot of toasters. The play is psychological, suspenseful and extremely funny, offering a rich and sometimes surreal look at the duality of both men's natures and the landscape of the West. Lauren Kennedy directs; tickets are $27.50. The show opened Wednesday and continues through July 13. For more information, visit hotsummernightsatthekennedy.org. —Zack Smith