Book of Days | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Book of Days 

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This is the fourth time in five years that Lanford Wilson's 1998 gothic drama about a mysterious death in a small Missouri town has been produced here. But familiarity hasn't bred contempt. Michael Menendian's intelligent staging and set, designed with Leif Olsen, capture both the play's epic sweep and the homey details of life in a town riven by fundamentalism and globalization. Cora Vander Broek is a spitfire in the sympathetic role of Ruth, thoughtful bookkeeper of the local cheese plant as well as Saint Joan in a community-theater staging of Shaw's play. But the enduring strength of this anti-Our Town is Wilson's knack for characters who may be based on recognizable types but never devolve into shrill stereotypes. Through 5/28: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM, Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark, 773-338-2177, $20-$25.

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