Criminal Hearts 

This could be one very dark comedy: a hard, harsh laugh at the battle of the sexes, played out in a grifter's world where it's either scam or be scammed. Or this play by the pseudonymous Jane Martin could be what director Ray Frewen's made of it, a summer romp with just enough cussedness to keep things lemonade tart. Ata's a mad housewife whose rich, sleazy husband has moved out; Bo and Robbie are thieves trying to turn Ata's misfortune to their own ends. In the dark version, husband and thieves are truly vicious people, while Ata's cracked and armed. Here, all threats are neutralized. Oddly enough, it works. The production doesn't go very far, but as far as it goes it's fun. --Tony Adler a Through 7/15: Wed-Thu 7:30 PM, Fri 8 PM, Sat 5 and 8:30 PM, Sun 3 and 7 PM, no show Thu 6/28 and Wed 7/4, Apple Tree Theatre, 1850 Green Bay, ste. 100, Highland Park, 847-432-4335, $35-$45.

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