Despondent Confrontation and Sustain | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Despondent Confrontation and Sustain 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

This double bill starts black and ends colorful. Comic relief--mostly in the form of a talking banana--comes sparingly in Sustain, about a struggling actor crippled by post-9/11 anxiety. You're quickly forced to sympathize or not with the heavyhearted protagonist, writer-performer Brandon J. Sornberger. Cleverly, newspapers blanket the set's furniture. But the one-man show Despondent Confrontation comes on like a big "just kidding." Writer-performer Ben Seeder, apparently building his career on awkwardness, finds brilliant comedy in odd, uneasy exchanges, like one between an adolescent girl and her mother's frustrated boyfriend, who's urging her to go to sleep. A tremendous stage presence, Seeder gives some scenes the energy of an ensemble sketch and draws steady smiles and hard laughs. --Ryan Hubbard a Through 3/8: Thu 8 PM, I.O., 3541 N. Clark, 773-880-0199, $5.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Give $35/month →  
  Give $10/month →  
  Give  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Ryan Hubbard

  • Rise and Shine

    Rise and Shine

    Fourteen spots for brunch, from Bakin' & Eggs to Yolk
    • Mar 25, 2010
  • Sweet and Sour

    Sweet and Sour

    A buffet of nontraditional holiday theater fare
    • Dec 3, 2009
  • A closer look at Chicago magazine's best city burger: Hot Chocolate

    A closer look at Chicago magazine's best city burger: Hot Chocolate

    A closer look at Hot Chocolate's burger, ranked second in the city by Chicago magazine.
    • Sep 22, 2009
  • More »

Popular Stories