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Pasatiempo - - Onstage This Week - Michael Wade Simp­son

Santa Fe, the city with an anti-WiFi move­ment and neigh­bors who sue one an­other for iPhone-poi­son­ing, may be the per­fect venue for a play about cell­phones. Sarah Ruhl’s com­edy, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, which played Off-Broad­way in 2008 in a pro­duc­tion star­ring Mary-Louise Parker, is now at Santa Fe Play­house.

Imag­ine that you are try­ing to en­joy your lunch in a café, and there is the con­tin­ual ring­ing of a cell­phone within earshot. You go over to the phone’s owner to ask him to si­lence the thing and re­al­ize he’s dead. It’s only log­i­cal, isn’t it, as Cather­ine Don­avon, di­rect­ing her eighth show at the Play­house tells it, “that the woman starts to an­swer the phone.” As soon as Jean, the main char­ac­ter, picks up the ring­ing phone and flips it open, she be­comes, as New York Times re­viewer Charles Ish­er­wood wrote, “the dead man’s so­cial sec­re­tary.” “Hello,” she says, “No, he’s not. Can I take a mes­sage?”

“The play is very quirky, a lit­tle bit on the sur­real side, and great fun,” said Don­avon, speak­ing to Pasatiempo. “It also says a lot about where we are to­day. How we com­mu­ni­cate. How tech­nol­ogy has taken over our lives.”

Yakety yak, don’t talk back: Cyn­thia Anne Roser as Jean and Ja­son Max Adams as the dead man

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