Half of Plenty | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Half of Plenty 

Lisa Dillman's new play is about half-right. The part that works resembles Barbara Ehrenreich's classic report on middle-class insecurity, Fear of Falling, reimagined as domestic dramedy. Medical transcriptionist Holly and plant worker Marty are a childless couple tending to Marty's senile dad and facing the threat of unemployment from outsourcing. Cheryl Graeff is remarkably down-to-earth as Holly, almost making the character work by gamely taking on both her Laura Petrie-esque pratfalls and increasing emotional stagnation. But things get old fast when Dillman introduces another couple, in charge of the neighborhood watch--the lazy playwright's shorthand for creeping fascism and paranoia. Under William Payne's slipshod direction, these two are played with nerve-shredding cartoonishness. --Kerry Reid a Through 5/27: Thu-Fri 8 PM, Sat 4 and 8 PM, Sun 3 PM, American Theater Company, 1909 W. Byron, 773-929-1031. $30-$35.

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