Sara Ruhls surrealistic yet comical exploration of modern-day communication and the isolated human condition was well-received when it debuted in New York in 2008 with Mary-Louise Parker in the starring role. Now, not long out of the starting gate, the play is rapidly receiving re-stagings from coast to coast, and Actors Bridge Ensemble is jumping into the fray with the Nashville premiere. Brooke Bryant stars as the unassuming Jean, whose lunch at a café is interrupted by the constant ringing of a cell phone, property of another diner named Gordon. The gentleman doesnt make a move (mainly because hes dead), but Jean, believing that a ringing phone shouldnt be ignored, is compelled to answeran action that will spin her off into a series of episodes involving Gordons family and personal associations, some suspicious business dealings, romance and, finally, an encounter with the afterlife. Bill Feehely directs the cast of six, which also includes C.J. Tucker, Alice Raver and Belmont University theater department head Paul Gatrell as the corpse, who eventually manages a ghostly monologue. Playwright Ruhl is a hot commodity, both a Pulitzer Prize finalist and the recipient of a coveted MacArthur Grant.
Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: July 24. Continues through Aug. 2, 2009