But the set is stunningly integrated with Robert Wierzel's sensual lighting design, evoking baroque canvases while draping the action in a sense of carnal luxury and exquisite decadence.
It's a bumpy ride, but the end is well played and gripping, casting a memorable image of Giovanni drenched in the blood of his sister and lover, having utterly retreated into himself literally into the womb of his flesh and blood, where sibling, wife, and child have all become horribly blurred. In the play's crowning and irresolvable tension, incest is both a fundamental violation of natural order as well as an assertion of blood as the only terra firma in a world of quicksand. *
'TIS PITY SHE'S A WHORE
Tues.Sat., 8 p.m. (also Wed. and Sat., 2 p.m.); Sun., 2 p.m., $14$82
American Conservatory Theater
415 Geary, SF
(415) 749-2228, www.act-sf.org