by Chris Lane
Hack starts off with a comedian telling a joke about three people who walk into a bar, and pretty soon they all have lives of their own as the play repeatedly changes into different types of performance. The three characters are all distinctive and intriguing: a brassy blonde who has an unusual love of everything old-fashioned, from very old movies to very old men; a quiet girl who is passionate about eulogies; and a troubled young man who is so afraid of death that he has barely lived. Aging and death tie their quirks together in interesting ways, and create for some excellent comedic segments, such as a hilarious montage of the most ridiculous therapists imaginable.
The play is brimming with clever ideas, and is well-produced, with good acting and some interesting director’s choices. The use of projection is a very nice touch. The main issue with the play is that it tries to do too much, so the plot becomes a bit over-the-top when it tries to be grave at the same time as mentioning a monster with lobster claws. If the playwright had chosen instead to tone it down, simplify, and keep the play on a coherent thread right to the end, Hack could be a wonderful little play. Even the most absurd plays need some form of logic.