Come Back, Little Sheba | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Come Back, Little Sheba 

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If it enters the public imagination at all these days, William Inge's 1950 play is most likely to do so as kitsch: you picture Shirley Booth standing miserably at her screen door, calling for the pet pooch that never does come back. Thank God David Cromer saw past that. There's no genteel melancholy in his Shattered Globe Theatre revival, no saccharine tableaux. Though Inge's old married couple, Lola and Doc, share a melodramatic backstory full of broken dreams and bottle hitting, their crisis unfolds here with unsentimental compassion in two plain, fast, often funny acts. The result is a revelation, sharply performed. John Judd's Doc is a time bomb fabricated out of diffidence; Linda Reiter makes a vivid Lola, getting herself lost and found. a Through 10/21: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM, Victory Gardens Greenhouse Theater, second-floor studio, 2257 N. Lincoln, 773-871-3000, $22-$35, industry shows Thu 9/21-10/5.

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