Amanda and Eve | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Amanda and Eve 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

AMANDA AND EVE, Bailiwick Repertory. Alexandra Billings's charming if somewhat stilted new play, Amanda and Eve (inspired by the Tracy-Hepburn film Adam's Rib), explores the painful definition of marriage for a contemporary professional lesbian couple. Both the play and the movie pit married attorneys against each other as they take opposite sides in a spousal abuse case, but the play focuses on how the absoluteness of the law affects their feelings about same-sex marriage. While the righteous Eve feels that humanity must come before the law, the clear-headed, indignant Amanda insists that the law prevail, even when it refuses to acknowledge her commitment.

All of which should make for a pretty passionate play--especially when it's billed as a comedy. Unfortunately, Billings's ideas tend to get diluted by characters who talk, talk, talk as if they were locked in a 30s movie one moment and a bad 90s sitcom the next. The play comes to life only in the scenes that objectify the couple's deep conflict. But director Chrisanne Blankenship-Billings has assembled a strong ensemble who make the most of this not-quite-ready script. Some of the supporting players absolutely shine, especially Adria Dawn as a boozy wife who shoots her husband and Leanne Beauregard as the husband's flaky mistress. Though these are definitely "characters," the actors illuminate these down-and-out women and make us care about their troubles. --Gabrielle S. Kaplan

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Give $35/month →  
  Give $10/month →  
  Give  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Gabrielle S. Kaplan

Popular Stories