[ THEATER ]
Like the old song says, You can check out, but you can never leave. George F. Walker's six-play series, Suburban Motel, is as bleak as "Hotel California," but much funnier. The first two installments — "The End of Civilization" and "Featuring Loretta;" see the rest in 2013 and 2014 — highlight the Canadian playwright's distinctive dark comedy. "End" introduces alcoholic Henry (Kenneth John McGregor) and long-suffering wife Lily (Michelle Pauls). He needs a job, but she's the one finding opportunities. Meanwhile, bombs go off wherever Henry applies, and the bickering cops (Brian Anthony Wilson, Steven Wright) are suspicious. "Featuring Loretta" is both lighter and tighter, as leggy Loretta (Jody Gross) contemplates a porn career and fends off hilarious battling suitors (Sean Close, James Kiesel). Gina Martino plays two great roles, a resilient call girl in "End" and an ex-KGB agent's daughter in "Loretta (pictured)," and Kevin Wayne Jordan's appropriately seedy motel room is practically another character: One look, and you know this is the end of the line. Fortunately, and entertainingly, the women persevere in their pursuit of freedom from the men who fuck up their lives.
Through June 30, $15-$20, Walking Fish Theatre, 2509 Frankford Ave., 215-427-9255, walkingfishtheatre.com.