If you enjoy meaty discussions on good, evil, and religion, then The History of the Devil by gay playwright Clive Barker is right up your dark alley. It now plays in a thought-provokingly funny production by Shadow Horse Theatre at the Phoenix Theatre. Paul von Stoetzel, the Twin Cities’ stage master of macabre, has directed a versatile and sharp-witted cast. The characters facilitate a court trial in which Satan/Lucifer is made to account for his sins. In so doing, it is revealed that the Prince of Darkness’ foes are projecting some of their own foibles onto him.
Charismatic Peter Beard delivers a magnetic performance as the Devil who smoothly and unflappably rationalizes his actions. Charla Marie Bailey as a lesbian prosecuting attorney and Audrey Callerstrom as her fellow bisexual comrade bring smarts and elegance to their antagonistic roles. Matt Saxe is charmingly stuffy as the judge. The uniformly strong cast also includes Matthew Kelly, Kelliann Kary, Thalia Kostman, and Rob Ward.
History of the Devil
Through Nov. 22
Phoenix Theatre, 2605 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis