Theater review: ‘Domesticated’ — 3 stars



Playwright Bruce Norris, who deservedly won the Pulitzer Prize in 2011 for "Clybourne Park," a clever twist on the classic African-American drama "A Raisin in the Sun," has struck back with "Domesticated," a timely comedic drama based on the familiar scenario of a male politician who must resign from office after being caught pants-down in a sex scandal.

It begins with Bill (a well-cast Jeff Goldblum), a bemused gynecologist turned elected official, standing next to his poker-faced wife Judy (the excellent Laurie Metcalf) at a hastily arranged news conference, announcing that he is leaving office immediately.

From then on, Act 1 observes Bill and Judy as they navigate through lawyers, family and the media and attempt damage control. However, Bill appears to be tongue-tied. In fact, Judy — who learns that Bill’s philandering was not isolated to a single incident — is doing all the talking.

Act 2, on the other hand, follows Bill’s downward spiral after he leaves his family and unsuccessfully attempts to move on professionally, acting as if nothing has happened.

While Bill keeps trying to deflect responsibility and rationalize his behavior, women continue to be drawn away from him, leading him to helplessly accuse all of them of only wanting men around for purposes of procreation. "Domesticated" is not up to the originality and wicked wit of "Clybourne Park," but well-directed by Anna D. Shapiro, it still manages to be both enjoyable and provocative.