Love! Valour! Compassion! 

It's a joy to watch a seemingly shallow play turn generous and important. Director Scott Shallenbarger treats the scenes in Terrence McNally's 1994 play, about eight gay friends who spend three holiday weekends in a country home in upstate New York, like memories in the making. Time deepens everything: rather than delivering silly soap opera situations in a summer of loss and longing, Hubris Productions' three-hour show offers a retrospective rich with the title qualities, especially undeserved compassion and conditional love. An endearing ensemble perfectly suggest friends who know one another well, for good or bad--often better than they know themselves. Like Chekhov, McNally finds a kind of permanence in the transience he treasures. --Lawrence Bommer a Through 8/12: Thu-Sun 8 PM, Center on Halsted, Hoover-Leppen Theatre, 3656 N. Halsted, 773-661-0938, $15-$20, industry shows Sun.

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