He, She, It | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

He, She, It 

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He, She, It, at Cafe Voltaire. D.R. Lucia's play is a cockfight with people instead of roosters. It reminded me of an intelligently written Married...With Children episode, lacking only the commercials, the tit jokes, and the laugh track. He, She, It tells the story of an unhappy couple whose relationship has degenerated to insults on her side and desperate begging on his. Bryan Carmody's sweet but lumpish He is out of a job, and the resulting economic imbalance has clearly destroyed his relationship with the resentful, bored, and somewhat sadistic She, played with verve by Carmen Lucia. "It" is the therapist they don't employ and the problems they never let themselves talk about.

Although Lucia has scripted some witty banter, the characters inflict such petty suffering on each other that it isn't clear why they don't just break up and save themselves ulcers. And in the playwright's own staging, short scenes separated by long blackouts diffuse the comedy and create an uncomfortable anticipation--what new version of torturous ennui will these two inflict on each other next? Even when their economic problems are solved, the bickering continues. Despite a blithe kiss at the end, the future looks bleak for these cross lovers.

--Carol Burbank


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