Exit Strategy | Broadway Armory Park | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Tuesdays-Fridays. Continues through Aug. 29 2014
Price: $15-$30
Having seen three Ike Holter plays so far, I'd say the hometown playwright has it in him to be a major deal in American theater. Of course, one of those plays was Hit the Wall, Holter's marvelous evocation of the 1969 Stonewall riot, so there's an element of the no-brainer in my assessment. But even his lesser efforts exhibit a sense of spoken language that's at once exuberant and surgically precise. This tale of a fictional Chicago high school on the verge of closing down is a perfect example. Especially as staged by Gus Menary for Jackalope Theatre, Exit Strategy expresses deep mourning and towering anger alongside lots and lots of casually witty banter. So what makes it a lesser effort? Terrible plotting, basically. Certain arguments come out of nowhere, contrived simply to give the impression that the ante's been upped. And the big last-minute revelation turns out to be a prosaic piece of information that the characters might've and should've known from the start—except that knowing it would've short-circuited the script. It's hard to stay annoyed, though, given that Holter's tactics yield opportunities for some solid work by a crack seven-member ensemble. —Tony Adler



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