Elton John's Glasses | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Elton John's Glasses 

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There's nothing sadder than a promising play without a second act. David Farr's 1996 comedy-drama treads somewhat familiar ground with its agoraphobic, damaged sports-fan protagonist, supporting cast of rock 'n' roll musicians, and bumbled-crime subplot, but does it so masterfully it doesn't matter--until intermission anyway. Then, despite an old-school jaw-dropper of a twist at the end of the first act that provides plenty of potential for the second, the script runs off the rails, doubling and tripling already unlikely coincidences in vain pursuit of an ending. In the face of this adversity, director Liz Warton's initial command falters, and even the surest hands in the Appetite Theatre Company cast seem suddenly hesitant or unfocused. The exception is Damian Arnold, whose performance as the soccer-obsessed lead is a small marvel of committed characterization: he follows through on everything the play doesn't. Through 7/10: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM. Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago, 773-275-1931. $12-$15. The show Thu 6/23 is preceded by a 6 PM sampling of British pub fare and beers at Greg Christian Catering, 1103 W. Grand. $65 (includes show).

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