The world premiere of Israel Horovitz’ “Gloucester Blue” at the Theatre at Arts Garage is the kind of production that doesn’t seem to be about much.
But as the wickedly dark comedy peels off layer after layer, a clever and chilled commentary on class is revealed in what ends up a blue-collars-versus-Brahmins takedown in 80 minutes with a 15-minute intermission…with a little murder and sex thrown in for good measure.
Horovitz (the prolific playwright once played by Al Pacino in the 1982 movie “Author! Author!”) has set his latest in his adopted Massachusetts hometown, where two painters Stumpy (David Sirois) and Latham (Steve Anthony) are renovating an old fish processing plant for wealthy couple Lexi (Andrea Conte) and Bummy (Michael St. Pierre), who plan to use it as a summer house.
Secrets come to light, emphasized by a sort of “Dark Shadows” musical exclamation (written by Horovitz’ son Adam, of Beastie Boy fame). While Lexi is distracted by getting just the right shade of blue onto the walls, she fails to notice that she is being studied by Latham, a bit of a brute who is smarter – much smarter as it turns out – than he looks.
Listen carefully to the first 15 minutes of exposition – camouflaged as two dudes just shooting the breeze – and you’ll have everything you need as the noose tightens. And while the quartet of actors are all excellent, it is Anthony who powers the play - his virtuosity extending to draining a beer, crushing the can, tossing it over his shoulder into the trash, and nailing the shot every time.
“Gloucester Blue” runs through Feb. 17 at the Theatre at Arts Garage, 180 NE First St. in Delray Beach. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays-Fridays and 7 p.m. on Sundays. There are 2 p.m. matinees on Saturdays. Tickets are $30-$40 in advance and $35-$45 at the door. To order, call 561-450-6357 or visit ArtsGarage.org.