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Christopher Durang's hilarious spoof "Beyond Therapy" lined up for Village Theatre Guild

Debbie Roberts as Prudence consults with her lecherous psychiatrist Stuart, played by Vince Scalone, after a terrible first date with the character Bruce in Christopher Durang’s hilarious spoof “Beyond Therapy.”

Debbie Roberts as Prudence consults with her lecherous psychiatrist Stuart, played by Vince Scalone, after a terrible first date with the character Bruce in Christopher Durang’s hilarious spoof “Beyond Therapy.”

Opening Friday, May 25, The Village Theatre Guild of Glen Ellyn will present Charles Durang’s popular satire on the dynamics of dating and psychiatry, “Beyond Therapy.” There are few serious moments in Durang’s hilarious spoof on modern romance and psychotherapy, instead the audience can expect to be treated to two hours of the ridiculous and delightfully absurd.
Says director Chuck Bernstein, a member of The Village Theatre Guild since 1988, “It is a comedy and a satire on people looking for answers in the wrong places and the even crazier people whose occupation it is to provide those answers! Yet these people manage to make real connections in spite of all the craziness around them.”
The play’s central characters, Prudence and Bruce, are two Manhattanites who are seeking stable romantic relationships with the help of their psychiatrists. Bruce is an emotionally unstable bisexual who tends to cry easily, something that homophobic Prudence doesn’t relish. Their first meeting ends in each throwing a glass of water in the other’s face. The two report back to their respective therapists: lecherous Stuart, who once seduced Prudence, and eccentric Charlotte, who can’t articulate the simplest of words, and interacts with Bruce and all her patients with the help of a stuffed Snoopy. Clearly the two are more in need of therapy than their patients! Charlotte suggests a revised ad, which once again attracts Prudence, but this time she and Bruce manage to get past their initial loathing and discover they actually might like each other. Now the couple needs to confront Bruce’s gay live-in partner, Bob, who doesn’t want to lose his status-quo.
Says Bernstein, “Durang has a wonderful sense of language. In addition to being very witty and funny his writing has a cadence that makes it almost musical. There is, at bottom, something very real about the characters in Beyond Therapy. Something that I think audiences will find very easy to relate to.”
Bernstein lauds his hard working and talented cast. “The cast is wonderful. What is so important is that they really connect with each other on stage. They listen to each other. They play off of each other. It makes the play hilariously funny and, in some places, very touching.” Cast members include Debbie Roberts (Lockport) as Prudence, Marcus Sanghera (Wheaton) as Bruce, Vincent Scalone (Lisle) as Stuart, Liliana Mitchell (Chicago) as Charlotte, Jason Taylor (Schaumburg) as Bob, and Greg Dvorak (Lombard) as Andrew.
“Beyond Therapy” premiered as an off-Broadway production in 1981 in New York’s Phoenix Theatre. In May of 1982 the Broadway production opened at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.
At its opening, “Beyond Therapy” was a hit with the critics. “The jokes about psychiatrists have never stopped, but rarely have they been as funny as they are in Christopher Durang’s comedy. Screwball and scatty, with as much owed to the Marx Brothers as to the Viennese brethren, “Beyond Therapy” offers the best therapy of all: guaranteed laughter,” wrote Gerald Clarke of Time Magazine. “Christopher Durang has the wit, the high, rebellious spirit, and the rage of the born satirist. He is also one of the funniest and most original playwrights at work,” opined Edith Oliver of the New Yorker.
“Beyond Therapy” opens May 25th and runs weekends through June 16th. Friday and Saturday performances are at 8:00 p.m. with 4:00 p.m. matinees on Sunday June 3rd, Sunday June 10th, and Saturday June 16th, Tickets are $18. The Village Theatre Guild is located near the northwest corner of Park Blvd. and Butterfield Road. For tickets or information call 630-469-8230 or visit the VTG website at www.villagetheatreguild.org.

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