Cormac McCarthy is an author of some of the most prolific—and decidedly American—novels of the last 50 years (All the Pretty Horses, Blood Meridian). Consistently dark and tense, his stories lend themselves to high impac stage and film performances (see Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men, based on the 2005 McCarthy book of the same name). Whether they are leading readers through a horrific post-apocalyptic wasteland, stumbling across the deserts of the Southwest into Mexico or tracking bootleggers in rural Tennessee, McCarthy's exquisitely crafted characters tug at the most base tendrils of the human heart.
In 2006, the same year he won the Pulitzer for his terse, post-apocalyptic novel The Road, McCarthy wrote his second play, The Sunset Limited, the story of two men who don't go anywhere—an atheist professor known as "White," and an evangelical ex-con Christian called "Black." The men meet on a subway platform as one attempts suicide. The play's entirety takes place in an apartment after the exchange.
Like a contemporary and darker Waiting for Godot, The Sunset Limited tackles issues of race, religion, class, morality and mortality, all in flawless conversation with minimal action. The Sunset Limited presents massive philosophical and theatrical expectations, and has been tackled by none other than Samuel L. Jackson and Tommy Lee Jones in a 2001 HBO film. It offers the actors from 2nd Street Theater and longtime theater participants Dori Donoho, Rick Jenkins and Richard Mueller some big shoes to fill.
The Sunset Limited
7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday, 3pm Sunday
2nd Street Theater, 220 NE Lafayette Ave.