Review: Dramatic duel cuts to the bone in ‘Annapurna’

Photo by Todd Higgins (

Photo by Todd Higgins (

Why did the Duluth Playhouse put Annapurna on their schedule? Quite simply it was to have a pair of performers like John Pokrzywinski and Christine Winkler Johnson sink their acting chops into the play’s final scene, which runs about an hour, and mesmerizes the audience into a breathless silence.

Two obvious questions about the two-person drama that opened June 2, 2-016 at the Playhouse, would be, “What does ‘Annapurna’ mean?” and “What is the play about?”


But the answers should come from the performance and not the review (plus, if I spilled the beans, there would be ants). Let me tell you in a single sentence what I knew about this play before I saw it, so we share the same vantage point.

Performed without an intermission, Annapurna begins with a series of short scenes followed by blackouts. My initial reaction was that Sharr White’s drama was taking a while to find the right gear, but in retrospect these initial offerings are clearly designed to give us the lay of the land for that final scene when the heavy excavation gets underway with a vengeance.

White’s explicit premise is that just because you leave someone does not mean you are not in a relationship with them the rest of your life. The edge of the play’s humor is more paper cuts than gut punches. White saves the body blows for the epic climactic scene.



What: Annapurna
When: June 9-12, 2016
Showtimes: Thursday – Saturday @ 7:30pm, Sunday @ 2pm
Where: The Duluth Playhouse (506 W. Michigan St., Duluth MN, 55802)
Tickets: Purchase online or by calling 218.733.7555
Ticket Prices: Adults – $27 | Youth/Students – $20 | Groups (15+) – $23

Please note this production contains mature language and runs 90 minutes with no intermission.