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Arts and Entertainment

Best Freudian Wit

Hysteria, Rep Stage

What do you get when you combine a slapstick comedy about Sigmund Freud and a serious drama about Salvador Dali? When put on by Rep Stage, you get a production that is both poignant and whimsical. Terry Johnson’s Hysteria was inspired by an actual meeting between the two men, but it takes that event to imaginary extremes. Celebrated local actor Bruce Nelson makes Dali—who was cartoonish in real life, never mind in a clothes-swapping door-slamming farce—into someone you can take seriously, while co-star Jeff Baker transforms into a nuanced Freud. Director Steven Carpenter brought the play’s contradictions together in perfect harmony.

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