Onstage: Mauritius

Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati's production of Cincinnati native Theresa Rebeck's play focuses on a pair of half-sisters whose mother's death leads to a battle over a rare stamp collection. In determining which of them actually has rights to a pair of va

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Playwright Theresa Rebeck, who happens to be a Cincinnati native, once told an interviewer, “I’m actually interested in poor behavior. I’m interested in what drives people to poor behavior. I do believe that there are monsters out there, and that they are monsters.” I hope it wasn’t growing up here (she’s a grad of Ursuline Academy) that first convinced her about the dark side of human nature, but you can judge for that yourself this week when Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati opens its production of her 2007 play, Mauritius. It’s about a pair of half-sisters whose mother’s death leads to a battle over a rare stamp collection.

In determining which of them actually has rights to a pair of valuable stamps from the African island nation of Mauritius, the sisters encounter three dealers with ulterior and selfish motives. Rebeck’s big hit so far has been her witty one-woman show, Bad Dates, which the Playhouse offered a few years back to much success. Mauritius is characterized as a “sinister comedy.” ETC Artistic Director D. Lynn Meyers has assembled an excellent cast, including multiple-CEA nominee Annie Fitzpatrick, Sara Mackie, Buzz Davies, Michael Bath and New York actor Dennis Parlato (who played the epitome of bad behavior, the devil himself, in ETC’s production of The Seafarer last fall). Calling the play “a compelling and intriguing story with remarkably complex characters,” Meyers observes, “I think this seasoned cast will bring to life the unexpected elements in the story that makes each of their characters complete.”

Wednesday-Sunday through April 5. $29-$3. Read my review here.

Get ETC details, find showtimes and buy tickets here.

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