As the novelist Joseph Heller observed, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.” And as the three characters who barely survive Theresa Rebeck’s twisting and twisted thriller, Downstairs, demonstrate, paranoia is merely one indication that someone you know could be harboring bad intentions. Other warning signs include psychopathic tendencies, the inability to separate reality and fantasy, and sheer, anesthetizing dread. Maybe your workmates are dispensing poison, or your husband is not the man you thought you knew, or your sister has had enough. Maybe that pipe wrench would be an effective blunt instrument. Or, maybe it’s just all in your head. Rebeck and her stellar cast keep us guessing through a tense, intermission-less hour and 45 minutes, while simultaneously pondering larger questions involving inheritances of both the genetic and financial variety.
The Actor’s Company Theatre (TACT) will present its spring gala on May 8 at the University Club of New York (1 W. 54th St.). The fundraiser will honor four women: Alice Ripley, Theresa Rebeck, Elizabeth McCann and Nelle Nugent. The event will begin with a cocktail reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner, a live auction, and entertainment by singer Liz Callaway. TACT is a company of theater artists that reveals, reclaims, and reimagines great plays of literary merit, To purchase tickets for the 2017 Spring Gala, call (212) 645-8228 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.