Broken Fences 

Playwright Steven Simoncic's depiction of an African-American couple and an upper-middle-class white couple living next door to each other in Humboldt Park is admirably evenhanded despite the script's running gag about racial stereotyping in advertising and swipes at overpriced Starbucks coffees. The clever, breezy first act takes a politically correct attitude toward gentrification yet remains sympathetic to both couples. Problems arise, however, with the need for narrative closure: will the black people get to stay in the neighborhood or not? Simoncic finds himself pulled in two very different directions. Still, minor flaws are ultimately smoothed over by the wonderfully naturalistic dialogue, and director Richard Hesler's cast is in perfect harmony throughout this A Reasonable Facsimile Theatre Company production, equally skilled at drawing out the comedy and drama of everyday interactions. This is easily the subtlest ensemble work I've seen on a Chicago stage all year. Through 5/1: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 7 PM. Live Bait Theater, 3914 N. Clark, 773-883-5078. $20.

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