No way around it, this is a dark, harsh, and gritty domestic drama. For some, it may be too dark, too harsh, too gritty, perhaps a partner violence trigger. A fun, frothy, feel-good frolic this show is decidedly not. But it’s got a riveting story structure, creditable acting and direction, and cutting, high-tension dialogue that kept me on the edge of my seat. For devotees of tight, intense playwriting, James E. Custer’s This Too Comes By Hard is a seriously terrific must-see.
Not incidentally, it’s also an auspicious debut for Unreal City Theatre, a brand-new company out of Harrisburg, Virginia.