For a woman named Cat, the road to destruction begins with a smile that says everything. As seen on the face of Halley Feiffer, the writer and star of “The Pain of My Belligerence,” that smile lights up the stage like an emergency flare in the opening seconds of this fraught comedy of anguish, which opened on Monday night at Playwrights Horizons.
It’s an expression that’s both terrified and tickled, uneasy and intrigued, an S.O.S. and a signal of surrender. It says, emphatically, “I’m too good for this” and “I’m not good enough for this” at the same time. And once you register the smile’s inspiration, you know that Ms. Feiffer’s Cat is doomed, doomed, doomed.
Cat, you see, is on a first date with a man called Guy, who is everything a girl’s mother should have warned her about but usually doesn’t. He is portrayed by the excellent Hamish Linklater with a commanding fatuousness that might just pass for charm if you’ve had a few drinks.
Guy — who owns the restaurant where they’re having dinner and is married to its famous chef — is the sort of guy who says, “I’m a person for whom the rules simply do not apply.” This means he can make and disown outrageously patronizing comments in the same breath. And if Cat dares to point out he’s being racist or sexist or arrogant, he responds by saying, with playful earnestness, “I’m a monster,” or, “I’m the devil,” or, “I’m a sociopath.”
And just so you know, his idea of a loving come-on is to bite Cat on her bared shoulder between compliments and insults. Guy isn’t just out to seduce Cat, but to devour her. Every so often, he invites her to pity him for his excessive sensitivity. And all the while you’re thinking, “Run, Cat, run!”
It is to Ms. Feiffer’s credit, as a writer and a performer, that you can understand why she doesn’t — that the passive-aggressive, ego-massaging and-ego annihilating Guy is the man Cat believes she deserves. Ms. Feiffer — whose earlier works include “I’m Gonna Pray for You So Hard” and “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit of the Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York City” — is a virtuoso in creating self-lacerating heroines.
Her performance here is smart, brave and unsparing to the point that you wince at its lack of vanity. And in that excruciatingly well-acted opening scene of “Pain,” directed with hair-trigger timing by Trip Cullman, she has created a perfectly self-contained, socially resonant portrait of a woman attracted to a man for all the wrong reasons.
Set in 2012, on the day Barack Obama is re-elected president, this encounter is one of the most chilling bad dates I’ve ever seen on stage or screen. And I can imagine it having a long and hearty afterlife in acting classes for years to come.
Unfortunately, there are two other, longer (or at least seemingly longer) parts of “Pain.” And they explore and extend the romantic pathology of that first scene by underlining, italicizing and capitalizing everything that was already so impeccably implicit.
Its second scene takes place four years later — on the night President Trump is elected — in an apartment occupied by a now bedridden Cat. She is apparently suffering from untreated Lyme disease. But we know better.
Metaphorically, at least, it’s the not the bite of a tick but of a toxic lover that has poisoned Cat to such a severe degree that she has forsaken her job, her social life, her independence. Guy visits her, bearing groceries, and their relationship is exactly as it was, except that it now involves hungry sex. Or attempts at hungry sex, since coitus is repeatedly interrupted by calls from Guy’s wife, whom he has obviously not left, and their young daughters.
The third scene takes on another election night, this one in 2020. Apparently, Mr. Trump is running for a second term. We are clearly being invited to infer a correlation between Cat’s fate and that of a nation.
I won’t say much more about this final scene, except that it introduces two characters we haven’t met before, and that they are convincingly embodied by Vanessa Kai and Keira Belle Young. “Pain” is perfectly cast, beautifully acted, fluidly directed and astutely designed by a team that includes Mark Wendland (the metamorphic set), Paloma Young (costumes), Ben Stanton (lighting) and Elisheba Ittoop (music and sound).
But it ultimately collapses under the weight of heavy symbols and too literal-minded political correspondences. Ms. Feiffer has said that she wanted her latest comedy to be “the theatrical equivalent” of Kristen Roupenian’s “Cat Person.”
That’s the much-debated, Twitter-immortalized 2017 New Yorker short story about another date from hell. (Ms. Feiffer tips her hat to Ms. Roupenian not only by using the name Cat but also by making that character a New Yorker writer.)
But after that fabulous, horrible and all-too-familiar pas de deux that begins the play, “Pain” sheds the succinctness and indirection that characterize the best short stories and treads water — thematically and dramatically — for another hour. Like its suffocatingly entangled lovers, it doesn’t know when to quit.B:
“【是】【父】【皇】【吗】？【怎】【么】【会】……”【高】【俭】【听】【了】【大】【受】【打】【击】，【立】【刻】【心】【如】【死】【灰】，【直】【接】【瘫】【坐】【在】【了】【地】【上】。 “【多】【行】【不】【义】【必】【自】【毙】，【你】【恶】【事】【做】【尽】，【早】【就】【应】【该】【有】【这】【样】【的】【下】【场】。”【婉】【儿】【冷】【冷】【的】【说】【道】。 “【原】【来】【是】【父】【皇】【要】【杀】【我】，【原】【来】【最】【容】【不】【下】【我】【的】【居】【然】【是】【父】【皇】。”【高】【俭】【哭】【着】【喃】【喃】【道】，【说】【完】【又】【大】【笑】【了】【起】【来】，【不】【过】【这】【笑】【声】【却】【有】【些】【癫】【狂】。 “【高】【俭】，【你】【罪】
【这】【本】【书】【成】【绩】【还】【是】【可】【以】【的】，【至】【少】【精】【品】【了】，【这】【首】【先】【要】【感】【谢】【读】【者】【大】【大】【们】【的】【订】【阅】！ 【作】【者】【也】【知】【道】【结】【局】【有】【些】【烂】，【可】【也】【没】【办】【法】，【地】【球】【篇】【已】【经】【写】【的】【心】【惊】【胆】【战】，**【要】【到】【了】，【大】【环】【境】【如】【此】。 【三】【天】【两】【头】【被】【屏】【蔽】，【星】【际】【篇】【根】【本】【没】【办】【法】【写】，【河】【蟹】【大】【军】【太】【厉】【害】【了】。 【这】【不】【能】【写】，【那】【不】【能】【写】，【还】【要】【求】【个】【人】【武】【力】【不】【能】【超】【过】**，【什】【么】【东】【西】【都】【要】【上】
【沈】【骆】【愣】【了】【愣】，【随】【后】【低】【声】【笑】【了】【出】【来】。【他】【什】【么】【都】【没】【说】，【只】【是】【将】【小】【姑】【娘】【往】【后】【拉】【了】【拉】，【修】【长】【漂】【亮】【的】【手】【指】【间】【白】【色】【火】【焰】【跳】【跃】。 【那】【是】……【真】【正】【进】【阶】【成】【为】【南】【明】【离】【火】【的】【异】【火】！ 【苏】【黎】【瞪】【大】【眼】【睛】，【这】【个】【人】【的】【能】【力】【似】【乎】【比】【她】【想】【象】【的】【还】【要】【强】。 【呼】—— 【一】【阵】【风】【拂】【过】，【吹】【起】【她】【的】【墨】【发】。 【沈】【骆】【的】【身】【影】【已】【经】【出】【现】【在】【远】【方】，【在】【一】【片】【墨】【色】【中】【只】
【苏】【怜】【月】【速】【度】【极】【快】，【不】【过】【盏】【茶】【功】【夫】【便】【赶】【回】【了】【第】【二】【层】，【洪】【荒】【找】【来】【时】，【她】【正】【试】【着】【外】【放】【神】【识】【搜】【寻】【寒】【烟】【的】【下】【落】。 “【主】【人】，【找】【到】【三】【小】【姐】【了】。”【洪】【荒】【飞】【星】【赶】【月】【般】【从】【远】【处】【冲】【过】【来】，【到】【了】【苏】【怜】【月】【近】【前】【却】【稳】【稳】【停】【住】【身】【形】，【扑】【棱】【着】【小】【翅】【膀】【落】【在】【苏】【怜】【月】【左】【肩】【上】。 “【在】【哪】？”【正】【着】【急】【上】【火】【的】【苏】【怜】【月】【根】【本】【没】【注】【意】【洪】【荒】【的】【特】【意】【之】【处】，【闻】【言】【立】【刻】【追】【问】彩霸王新老跑狗图【另】【一】【边】，【秦】【舒】【去】【找】【人】，【进】【行】【的】【并】【不】【是】【很】【顺】【利】。 【刚】【进】【西】【山】，【就】【被】【一】【个】【野】【人】【给】【捆】【了】，【瞅】【着】【他】【的】【眼】【神】【绿】【油】【油】【的】，【看】【上】【去】【十】【分】【骇】【人】！【原】【谅】【他】【活】【了】【十】【多】【年】，【从】【未】【受】【过】【这】【样】【的】【对】【待】！ 【此】【刻】，【居】【然】【沦】【落】【到】【现】【在】【这】【个】【地】【步】…… 【秦】【舒】【心】【生】【恼】【意】，【只】【觉】【得】，【最】【近】【自】【己】【做】【什】【么】【都】【不】【顺】！【好】【端】【端】【的】，【如】【何】【就】【沦】【落】【到】【这】【个】【地】【步】【了】！【说】【不】【上】
【这】【嗓】【音】【慵】【懒】【醉】【人】，【城】【楼】【仿】【佛】【已】【非】【城】【楼】，【而】【是】【小】【楼】【闺】【阁】，【他】【御】【马】【来】【到】【窗】【下】，【在】【烂】【漫】【星】【光】【里】【迎】【她】【还】【家】。 【夜】【桥】【星】【云】，【无】【一】【不】【美】，【美】【得】【像】【幻】【梦】【一】【场】。 【暮】【青】【却】【忽】【然】【跳】【下】【城】【垛】，【奔】【过】【过】【道】，【往】【外】【侧】【城】【垛】【上】【奋】【力】【一】【撑】，【纵】【身】【就】【跃】【下】【了】【城】【楼】，“【阿】【欢】！” 【城】【楼】【雄】【伟】，【护】【城】【水】【深】，【她】【皆】【不】【惧】。 【若】【是】【梦】，【今】【夜】【唯】【有】【粉】【身】【碎】【骨】，
【欧】【阳】【云】【霄】【消】【失】【之】【后】，【李】【睿】【走】【到】【庆】【鸿】【凯】【面】【前】【说】【道】：“【岳】【父】【大】【人】，” 【庆】【鸿】【凯】【点】【点】【头】：“【小】【睿】，【以】【后】【韵】【儿】【就】【交】【给】【你】【了】，【作】【为】【你】【的】【亲】【人】【我】【肯】【定】【会】【不】【予】【余】【力】【的】【支】【持】【你】【们】【的】【计】【划】，” 【李】【睿】【点】【点】【头】：“【多】【谢】，【岳】【父】【的】【支】【持】，” 【庆】【鸿】【凯】：“【那】【么】【我】【明】【天】【就】【会】【宣】【布】【你】【和】【韵】【儿】【的】【婚】【事】，【下】【个】【月】【十】【五】【号】【就】【是】【一】【个】【好】【日】【子】，【日】【子】【就】【定】【在】
【核】【心】【情】【报】 ——【罪】【者】【空】【间】【的】【存】【在】【时】【间】【是】【个】【谜】【团】，【但】【从】【种】【种】【线】【索】【来】【看】，【它】【的】【历】【史】【并】【不】【比】【人】【类】【的】【文】【明】【要】【短】，【而】【且】【它】【与】【人】【类】【史】【上】【的】【众】【多】【重】【大】【事】【件】，【似】【乎】【都】【有】【着】【某】【种】【不】【为】【人】【知】【的】【联】【系】！ ××××× “【我】【进】【入】【空】【间】【时】，【原】【本】【世】【界】【的】【时】【间】【应】【该】【是】1990【年】12【月】【份】。” 【银】【狐】【陷】【入】【回】【忆】【的】【第】【一】【句】【话】，【就】【让】【所】【有】【人】【就】【吃】【了】
【姑】【苏】【城】【美】【则】【美】【矣】，【却】【是】【重】【灾】【区】。【在】【姑】【苏】【城】【内】【停】【留】【两】【天】【之】【后】，【一】【行】【人】【就】【移】【步】【来】【到】【城】【外】【的】【一】【座】【古】【镇】。 【一】【座】【历】【经】【了】【千】【百】【年】【来】【风】【雨】【沧】【桑】【的】【古】【镇】，【这】【也】【是】【一】【座】【临】【河】【而】【建】，【傍】【桥】【而】【市】，【具】【有】【典】【型】【江】【南】【风】【情】【的】【水】【乡】【古】【镇】。 【沿】【河】【的】【房】【屋】【还】【有】【一】【部】【分】【延】【伸】【至】【河】【面】【上】，【下】【面】【用】【木】【桩】【或】【石】【柱】【打】【在】【河】【床】【中】，【上】【架】【横】【梁】，【搁】【上】【木】【板】。 【两】【岸】