UW-L Theatre opens season with twisted comedy

George F. Walker’s wicked comedy “Escape from Happiness” will open the 2009-10 University of Wisconsin–La Crosse Department of Theatre Arts performance season. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. Oct. 16-17 and Oct. 22-24, and 2 o’clock matinees Sundays Oct. 18 and 25. Performances are in Toland Theatre in the Center for the Art, 16th and Vine streets.

A provocative examination of the traditional role of family, “Escape from Happiness” chronicles the antics of the Dawsons — Nora, Gail, Elizabeth and Mary-Ann — as they struggle with family dynamics and the reappearance of their semi-catatonic father, Tom. Tight-knit, yet blunt to a fault, the Dawsons are an eccentric, in-your-face bunch, that consistently push the envelope when it comes to “family values.” With the urban world closing in around them, the Dawsons are forced to pit violence against love in a high-stakes gamble at happiness.

Part of a dynamic trilogy of plays by Walker, the production is a guilty pleasure sure with lots of laughter. Mature audiences only are recommended.

Tickets go on sale at 1 p.m. Monday, Oct. 12, in the Theatre Box Office, first floor of the Center for the Arts. Tickets are $4 for UW-L students; $10 for other students and senior citizens; and $12 for others. For reservations, call the box office at 785.8522. Box office hours are 1-4:30 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.?Saturdays and one hour before show time.

If you go—
Who: Department of Theatre Arts
What: “Escape from Happiness”
When: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 16-17 and Oct. 22-24; 2 o’clock matinees Sundays Oct. 18 and 25
Where: Toland Theatre in the Center for the Art, 16th and Vine streets
Admission: $4 for UW-L students; $10 for other students, senior citizens and children; and $12 for others.