Come for the Food, Stay for the Abuse 

click to enlarge cal08_lede_red_ryder_148.jpg

There are always people who bring out the worst feelings in those around them — who strike fear in the heart, a panic in the soul. In TheatreVCU's production of "When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder?" Teddy, a slightly off-his-rocker Vietnam vet, is the source of such feelings for five people in a forgotten New Mexico roadside diner (VCU's set is so detailed you can almost taste the roaches in your sandwich). While Teddy doesn't take lives, he does change them by exposing the characters' innermost secrets, using cynicism and fear to push them into self-awareness. How many nutters does it take to screw in a light bulb? Who knows, but it takes only one to push you from loneliness to life. At the Singleton Center Feb. 22-24 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 25 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $5-$15. 828-6026. S

TheatreVCU online

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