With the new decade and the likelihood of ’90s nostalgia replacing ’80s nostalgia, we may as well take this opportunity to put the Reagan era behind us, once and for all. There could be no timelier indictment of the decade than Wasatch Theatre Company’s production of John Guare’s Six Degrees of Separation. If the 1980s represented a Golden Age for those who valued outward appearances over inner substance, then the play’s central characters Ouisa (Mary Lee Anderton) and Flan (J.C. Carter) Kittredge are icons of the era writ large.
By now, the plot is familiar: The Kittredges and their yuppie pals are taken in by con artist Paul (Trevor Jerome), who passes himself off as a friend of their Ivy League children and the son of Sidney Poitier. Yet the whole point of Paul’s selfserving game remains a mystery until the play’s devastating final act. In fact, I arrogantly thought I knew everything about Six Degrees—until I was blown away by WTC’s virtually flawless in-theround production.
Anderton’s spectacular performance brings never-before-seen nuances to Ouisa, whose complexity surpasses even that of the mysterious Paul. Jerome’s charm and conviction as the con artist becomes increasingly alarming as the play progresses. The ensemble is so strong that it becomes difficult to single out individual performances in a limited space, but special mention must be made of Jesse Peery, whose dual portrayals as Paul’s $50 hookup (sexy!) and conflicted Utah-born New York City transplant Rick (tragic!) are outstanding on many levels.