An Evening in the Rye | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

An Evening in the Rye 

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LiveWire Theater's evening of one-acts is supposedly inspired by J.D. Salinger, but that can't be unless his defining feature is wistful pointlessness. Even on their own terms the pieces fail. David Alex in Les cuisses de grenoille l'ail after the Second Eskimo War does nothing with the interactions between two young men and their guest, a threatening female veteran. Alison Weiss's The Mutants in the Hudson concerns an ex-whiz kid, now a war hero, who freaks out after writing a successful book because he feels neither heroic nor successful. Leah Wagner shines as the teenager who blithely destroys the man's illusions, but he remains opaque, and a scene between his wife and her mother contributes nothing. M. Brandon Thompson's Brain Check is a real play, showing how one woman's fears of infidelity trigger action in another's relationship. But unmemorable performances and jerky pacing sabotage the script. Through 11/17: Mon and Wed 7:30 PM. Frankie J's MethaDome Theater, 4437 N. Broadway, 773-860-5579. $10.

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