The title refers to an institution where the play takes place. It's called a "rest home," in contrast to a "convalescent home," but the details of how patients come to be in the institution and what kind of treatment (or punishment) they receive is unclear. What we do know is that there's a clueless boss (an absolutely delightful Robert Dorfman, making the most of every moment), a seemingly sycophantic but secretly ambitious second-in-command (Mark Benninghofen), another employee who seems to be his rival for the boss' attention (Bill McCallum), a new and eager employee (John Catron), the lone woman on the staff who seems to be in a relationship with several of the men (Artistic Director Sara Marsh), and a lower level employee who walks around turning off lights and moving furniture (Bruce Bohne). The play takes place on Christmas Day, which is neither here nor there, but what is noteworthy is that one patient has recently died and another has given birth. The staff tries to get to the bottom of this, but seems to be more concerned with their own place in the institution. The newbie becomes the scapegoat, which makes me wonder if he's actually a patient and just thinks he's an employee.
|the cast in rehearsal in the Grain Belt Bottling House|
The Hothouse continues through January 4. Check it out for a truly unique experience of this bizarrely funny and inexplicable Pinter play. UPDATE: The Hothouse has been extended through January 10.