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Performing Arts Next 7 Days

4 total results

Four

Through 3/28: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 3 PM

As spare as its title, Christopher Shinn's 90-minute play gives us four souls doing their befuddled best to liberate themselves on Independence Day, 1996. Joe is a university professor from Hartford, Connecticut, taking advantage of a trip to Boston to hook up with June, a 16-year-old gay virgin he met online. Back home in Hartford, Joe's teenage daughter, Abigayle, slips away from her bedridden mom to hook up with her wannabe boyfriend, a basketball-playing wigger named Dexter. Sex is had, after a fashion, but the couples spend most of their time engaged in pained conversation, backing ever so reluctantly into what they mean to say. There may be a delicate Chekhovian comedy in there somewhere. But by confusing quiet desperation with solemn stasis, this Jackalope Theatre production never finds it. —Tony Adler $5-$20

Broadway Armory Park (map)
5917 N. Broadway St.
Edgewater
phone 312-742-7502
Four

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The Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle

Through 3/14: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM

Irish playwright Ross Dungan spins a witty, highly literate tale of an average Irishman, Eric Argyle, forced, as his first task after his death, to explain key moments in this life to a jury of his peers. The story that unfolds echoes A Christmas Carol and It's a Wonderful Life, but Argyle is even more ordinary than a Scrooge or a George Bailey—which makes his less-than-wonderful life all the more touching. Performed without an intermission, this nearly two-hour show from Steep Theatre sparkles with terrific individual performances (Jeff Duhigg, for example, gives a star turn as Argyle), but what really makes the production special is how well this ensemble works together under director Jonathan Berry: thanks to its teamwork and perfect timing, even the quietest moment in this clever play has power and grace. —Jack Helbig $10-$35

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Steep Theatre (map)
1115 W. Berwyn Ave.
Edgewater
phone 312-458-0722

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The Talking Cure

Through 3/22: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM

They’re not kidding about the talking part. There’s a whole lot of it in Christopher Hampton’s dry-as-dust 2002 drama about Carl Jung and the early days of psychoanalysis. In long, shapeless scenes, Jung debates Freud about the future of their field, recounts his dreams, and treats the overlooked-by-history Sabina Spielrein, a young Russian Jew who eventually becomes Jung’s mistress and, later, colleague. Their affair and Spielrein’s influence on Jung’s thinking are Hampton’s primary concerns, but the characters are all head, no heart. Evan Jackson’s staging for Idle Muse Theatre Company feels stuffy and remote, and each cast member has been saddled with an almost comically thick German or Russian accent. The only sparks of feeling come from Caty Gordon’s spunky Sabina. —Zac Thompson $20

http://idlemuse.org
Rivendell Theatre (map)
5775 N. Ridge Ave.
Edgewater
phone 773-334-7728
The Talking Cure

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Dividing the Estate

Through 3/28: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 3 PM

In his last Broadway play, Horton Foote uses two long acts to show how mildly unpleasant the 1987 recession must have been for privileged, self-absorbed, stereotypical white Texans. Implacable matriarch Lucille’s stuck with a semiprofitable 5,000-acre estate, making do with only three black servants and two paid family members to look after her. Her three adult children endlessly grouse and scheme about selling off bits of the homestead. Her nieces are greedy idiots. Little evolves; characters change only if they have the good sense to die. A more developed production might excavate some Chekhovian social commentary from the script, which owes an embarrassing debt to The Cherry Orchard. But director Cody Estle’s good-natured, stylish, imperturbable production ambles along pleasantly without a discernible point of view. —Justin Hayford $36

Raven Theatre (map)
6157 N. Clark St.
Edgewater
phone 773-338-2177

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