Dark Ride | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Dark Ride 

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Like many of Len Jenkin's plays from the 1980s, this one is a shadowy thrill ride along the margins of dispossessed America, as ten grifters--roadside cafe waitresses, an occultist-cum-mentalist, a soldierless general, a deluded jeweler, and an accidental jewel thief--look for spiritual and/or monetary salvation. Led by the beguiling, understated Jarrett Sleeper as the jewel thief, the Box Theatre Group cast is evenly split between engaging and flat performances. Director Jennifer Huffman, constrained by a design that's more bare than bare-bones, keeps the actors focused on embellishing moments rather than giving scenes a through line. As a result there isn't enough momentum to create the vortex that should suck these disparate characters into fateful collisions. Instead they merely bump along. Through 5/27: Thu-Fri 7:30 PM. Chicago Actors Studio, 1567 N. Milwaukee, 773-509-2910. $10-$15.

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