Husband & Life | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Husband & Life 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

HUSBAND & LIFE, at Live Bait Theater. This two-person exercise in compassionate characterization charts a marriage from first date to first burial. Writer-performers Wayne Graham and Rebekah Walendzak take a predictable course, telling tired jokes about lifted toilet seats as well as addressing the usual life passages, but intriguing details make the show worth the hour. Under Bob Ladewig's direction, these affectionate sketches are refreshingly free of irony and sarcasm during scenes of gentle self-mockery yet exhibit enough control to make the sentimental moments equally true. If some scenes parade the actors' accents rather than further the story, overall this ambitious showcase honors its two seasoned performers, who adeptly depict bad dates, nosy neighbors, control-freak colleagues, the lovers' parents, and one very wise daughter.

But the core pleasure is the couple: Graham gives clumsy, caring Randall an earthy integrity while Walendzak's Emily is rooted and sensible, clearly the tonic Randall needs. At the altar, when he gets carried away and implores her to marry after his death, she expertly soothes him. As much ground as Husband & Life covers, it never seems rushed, yet you sense how short a life together can be.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Give $35/month →  
  Give $10/month →  
  Give  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Lawrence Bommer

Popular Stories