I Am Yours | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

I Am Yours 

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I Am Yours, Cobalt Ensemble Theatre, at Stage Left Theatre. When this Judith Thompson play premiered in Toronto in 1979, it was welcomed as a groundbreaking psychological drama. Two emotionally damaged sisters vie for the center of attention, both aiming to be loved and desired. Dee (Jenny McKnight) is ruining her marriage by playing emotional and mental games with her husband, Mack (the sympathetic David Lowenthal). Mercy (Laura Bailey) revisits an illicit passion with an older man (Eric Danson) after her husband leaves her. Eventually Dee is impregnated after a passionate night with the young Toilane (the tightly wound Brad Harbaugh), who wants to be her modern "knight without armor." Mercy is called upon to lie for the sister she loathes when Toilane and his dominating, lonely mother Pegs (P.J. Jenkinson) file a custody suit over the child.

This is a disturbing play in which the characters alternately face or flee their demons, and Thompson fluidly interweaves memory, delusion, and gritty reality. Yet in the 22 years since I Am Yours was written, its social commentary has been blunted. Perhaps this explains the audience's laughter at inappropriate times. Under the direction of Robin Stanton the Cobalt Ensemble goes at this dark, twisted tale full tilt. But the beasts this play unleashes are not as emotionally wrenching as they once were.

--Jenn Goddu

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