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Mark Witteveen’s ‘Very Fine Use of a Grenade’ unfolds in reverse

In his new play “Very Fine Use of a Grenade,” opening Friday in the Road Less Traveled Theatre (639 Main St.), local writer Mark Witteveen leaves traditional narrative structure behind in favor of a more adventurous approach. The complex story at the heart of the play – involving a mysteriously linked couple, an intense criminal interrogation, a burst of violence and an ill-fated independent film shoot – unfurls in reverse and disrupts the familiar rhythms and reassuring momentum of more linear story lines.

The show, according to a release that promises “deception, seduction and murder,” is a “mystery that unfolds in the grand tradition of Harold Pinter’s ‘Betrayal’ and Christopher Nolan’s ‘Memento.’ ” Director Doug Zschiegner of Niagara University’s esteemed theater program, directs a cast featuring RLTP regulars John Fredo, Kristen Tripp Kelley, Greg Howze and Renee Landrigan.

“It’s definitely a story that requires an audience to pay attention,” said Zschiegner, who also directed RLTP’s hit production of “Insidious” in 2010. “It’s not an episode of ‘Law & Order,’ where you know exactly what’s going to happen before you turn it on. If theater does anything, it’s showing us the conventional in an unconventional way.”

Tickets to the show, which runs through Feb. 16, are $15 to $33. Call 629-3069 or visit

– Colin Dabkowski