They are at it again this month, those daring young men and women on the metaphorical flying trapeze of The Cutting Ball Theater, where their adventurous Risk Is This … The Cutting Ball New Experimental Plays Festival is gearing up for January and February. An American festival solely dedicated to experimental works for the stage, these theatrical folks are featuring three new works and translations of two old ones that challenged taboos in their day. New in January includes Superheroes, written and directed by Sean San José, which pursues a shocking truth as it investigates a lyrical labyrinth through a crack cocaine epidemic. The old and newly translated are the incendiary Ubu Roi, by Alfred Jarry, which incited its 1897 audiences to riot, and my personal favorite, Insect Play, by those scintillatingly obscure Czech brothers Josef and Karl Čapek. I once played an ant and a butterfly in this one (oh, those wild grad school days!), so I can assure you, these bugs will show you more about the human condition than you may want to know. But you will also laugh because it is sometimes entitled, The Insect Comedy, and it is truly funny.
Risk Is This … The Cutting Ball New Experimental Plays Festival: Exit Theatre, 277 Taylor Street (at Ellis), Jan. 11–Feb. 9, $20-$50, 415-525-1205, www.cuttingball.com
— E. Baron