Jones is the kind of guy who attracts trouble. If he hangs out on the street, the police will beat him up. If he’s minding his own business working at the factory, his boss will verbally abuse him. Finally, and with results most devastating, his girl will betray him.
Jones is a modern-day Southern Californian version of Georg Buchner’s “Woyzeck,” as updated by writer Naomi Iizuka, who renames the play “Skin.” This visually arresting and bravely acted production at the Los Angeles Playhouse establishes the Relentless Theatre–which last year gave us the equally depressive “Crackwalker”–as L.A.’s most relentlessly gritty company. Here, the cast digs its teeth into the morose, Teutonic, fatalistic, pre-Prozac vision of the 23-year-old Buchner. “Woyzeck” was his last play; he died before finishing it in 1836.