A Lie of the Mind | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

A Lie of the Mind 

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In his 1985 play Sam Shepard returned to a once-rich source--the disillusioned, dysfunctional nuclear family splattered like roadkill on the highways of the American west--and came up with an underdeveloped mix of melodrama, sitcom, and traumedy. His unwieldy tale of two doomed families linked by a young married couple who can't differentiate between violence and love invites indulgent acting, but for the most part director Nic Dimond skillfully reins in his admirable cast. They may miss much of Shepard's twisted humor, but their carefully styled performances make for an engaging, well-paced two hours; they're ably complemented by Seth Reinick's moody lighting and Mikhail Fiksel's spaghetti western score performed live on two heavily reverbed guitars and a trumpet. --Justin Hayford a Through 5/12: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Sun 7 PM, Mon 4/9, 8 PM, no show Sun 4/8, Strawdog Theatre Company, 3829 N. Broadway, 773-528-9696, $15-$20.

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