A Family Dysfunction

When Jeffrey Stanley writes a play, he tells it from the heart. As George Clooney says in O Brother, Where Art Thou?, "It is a fool who looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart." So don't expect Stanley's characters or plot to always follow logic. In Medicine, Man, his 2003 dark comedy that Theatre Three gives its Southwest premiere, Stanley assembles characters such as a blue-collar die-hard NASCAR fan, his fraternal twin sister who's a movie producer wannabe, his chewed-up girlfriend and his mother's preacher. Then he puts his main character's mother in a coma and throws in a Cherokee medicine man to counter an overly career-oriented physician. While this sounds like a cast of caricatures, Stanley does well to let dialogue and actions represent who the individuals are, as opposed to taking pot shots at stereotypes. Though Stanley lives in the place that everyone we write about here seems to reside--New York City--he's based this play on the community where he grew up, Roanoke, Virginia, where everyone swears they're part Cherokee and, for some, "white trash" is little more than a metaphor for life. Medicine, Man previews March 17 through March 20 and runs March 21 through April 23 at Theatre Three, 2800 Routh St. in the Quadrangle. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, plus 7:30 p.m. March 20 and April 17 and 2 p.m. April 21. There's no Saturday matinee during previews. Tickets are $10 to $35. Call 214-871-3300. --Jonathan Freeman

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