Crowded Fire premieres Enrique Urueta's "psycho-Southern queer country dance tragedy"
Sandra and Dylan's relationship adds momentum to the story, which otherwise tends to dissipate among its various subplots. Ironically, the central issue of Sandra's guilt and her debt to Fox Confessor lacks the requisite poignancy and urgency, at least partly because there's little sense of a relationship between Sandra and her deceased brother (who has only a flickering afterworld presence here, despite a key intervention near the end). The only hint of a tangible sibling connection comes when Sandra, in one of the more comical moments, repeats Ricardo's detailed impressions of San Francisco to Dylan, at length and seemingly verbatim.
Director Mary Guzmán (who also helmed Learn to Be Latina) gets some nice performances across a generally strong cast. But the staging — around Emily Greene's elegantly elemental thrust stage, complete with intermittent sheets of rain heralding Fox Confessor's serious mischief — can be lackluster. The dose of underworld dosey doe, for example, proves sluggish and repetitive, despite sound designer Colin Trevor's steady injections of the gorgeously moody songs of Neko Case. In the end, the play's defiantly romantic spirit has charm, but Forever Never Comes leaves too much hanging.
FOREVER NEVER COMES
Wed-Sat, 8 p.m. (through June 26), $10–$30
505 Natoma, SF
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