Humble Boy | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Humble Boy 

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When did the English become so boring? The question hangs like a stifled yawn over Remy Bumppo Theatre Company's dutiful, Anglophilic production of Charlotte Jones's slow-moving comedy. A mild 35-year-old academic can't deal with his father's untimely death and his mother's sudden interest in a boorish neighbor. If the plot sounds familiar, it should: Jones borrowed freely from Hamlet. But she didn't borrow enough. The modern tale she fashions from this rich material is at times whimsical--the ghost of the dead father doesn't so much haunt the grounds, for example, as putter about them--but a little whimsy goes a long way, especially in James Bohnen's unevenly directed and performed staging. Shawn Douglass is especially irritating as the protagonist, a stuttering loser who never manages to earn our sympathy despite the fact that everyone around him is even less likable. Through 4/10: Wed-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 2:30 PM. Victory Gardens Theater, second-floor main stage, 2257 N. Lincoln, 773-871-3000. $25-$35.

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