Massacre (Sing to Your Children) at the Rattlestick.
You won’t find a more alarming, provocative, startling start to a play, off-Broadway or on- than the assault on the audience in Massacre (Sing to Your Children.) As music blares and lights flash, six characters in outlandish masks burst through a door into a grim slaughterhouse. They are all soaked in blood. A seventh rolls in through a chute.
They’re wild, adrenaline-drunk, frenzied in the aftermath of what they’ve just done—killed a man, Joe. Or at least they hope they have killed him. Sure they hacked him with scimitars, poked him with a pitchfork, pierced him with an icepick, and they all wear gallons of his blood. Still, there’s a fear that they might not have completed the job. Why?
It seems that this character, Joe, is some sort of supernaturally evil being who has taken over their small New England town. With his arrival, crops have withered, births have ceased, children have turned against their parents, people disappear, and all live in fear. At least that’s what this crew of locals—two auto mechanics, a teacher, a housewife, a psychic, a fry cook and a drifter—believe. The info about Joe is revealed in dribs and drabs in the first act. Action is non-stop–and so is the talk, as each of the characters reveals something about themselves. Until an ominous pounding on the door brings the first act to a close.
The second act brings shocks and revelations as all comes undone. Unfortunately, by this time the action has slowed to a crawl and twists and turns become formulaic.
Massacre was written by Jose Rivera and directed by Brian Mertes. The repertory cast does an excellent job in a difficult piece. Massacre (Sing to Your Children) is at the Rattlestick until May 12