Balm in Gilead | Den Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through April 19 2015
Price: $35
griffintheatre.com
Lanford Wilson’s cacophonous 1964 drama takes place in a rundown Manhattan diner frequented by hookers, junkies, pushers, bums, and others on the margins of society. The characters’ lives may be a hopeless hustle, but the overall effect is one of rambunctious vitality, thanks to the script’s loud, overlapping conversations and show-offy speeches filled with rage and desperation. In this Griffin Theatre Company revival, director Jonathan Berry fails to find the music in the noise, letting his 31-member cast mug and overplay in lieu of building a cohesive ensemble. The play’s seedy atmosphere is further compromised by inauthentically clean-cut actors and Mieka Van der Ploeg’s faintly nostalgic early-60s costumes. These nighthawks look about as threatening as the T-Birds in Grease. —Zac Thompson

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