All Aboard | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

All Aboard 

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ALL ABOARD, Mirrors Image Productions, at Cafe Voltaire. This epistolary drama by David Sheppard explores the friendship between two women who meet briefly during a plane ride and become friends for life. Unfortunately, in both the script and this production (directed by Sheppard), their attraction to one another seems forced from the first.

Kristin is a shy, bookish, indecisive student destined to evolve into a shy, bookish, doormat of a housewife. Monique is an assertive, slightly glamorous law student with her life mapped out for success. The connection they feel is never clear; their conversation on the plane is personal only in a general way ("I just think love is so beautiful," sighs Kristin, hugging the romance novel on her lap); and the letters that follow reveal mostly sketchy details of their everyday lives, with an emphasis on their rotten marriages. The story is told in flashback as Kristin takes a train trip to meet Monique; her journey seems symbolic of some sort of liberation--presumably her own, triggered by Monique. But in the end it isn't much of a liberation: she returns to her spectacularly self-absorbed husband at the drop of an apology. And the actual reunion between Kristin and Monique borrows a plot twist straight out of one of the romance novels Kristin so loves.

Christie Hubbard and Janet Milstein are competent enough. But it would take a couple of geniuses to make this friendship fly.

In my review of Mozart & Salieri last week, I neglected to mention

that Mozart was not the only composer. Additional music was by pianist/composer Allan Segall.

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