By Elliott Hayes.
Cast: 3m., 2w. "This Ortonesque farce was the hit of the Geva Fest and the play deserving immediate national attention. The play begins with an encounter between a straight divorced professor and the gay man he has mistakenly picked up. The play teases its audience with surface realism—a style that dissolves when the gay character kills himself while using nasal spray. The teacher's ex-wife subsequently shows up with her cop boyfriend to investigate the death, closely followed by a mother-in-law with parts of her murdered husband hidden in her handbag. The barest bones of the plot may appear outlandish, but Hayes manages to constantly keep his audience guessing. Along the way, he finds a great deal to say about modern relationships, playing out his strange farce against the all-too-contemporary background of spousal abuse, sudden death from seemingly irrational causes, and the characters' pervasive but devastating inability to communicate." (Variety) "Hard Hearts is wickedly entertaining and thoroughly thought-provoking, an odd amalgam of unusual characters and surprising situations that provide the backdrop for Hayes' hard-edged but humorous take on the world." (Bennington Banner) One int. set.