Leaving Iowa | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Leaving Iowa 

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Tim Clue and Spike Manton's bittersweet comedy follows a man traveling country highways looking for a meaningful place to scatter his father's ashes. Naturally the road is littered with mea culpas and memories: agonizing family trips to places of dubious historical import provide fuel for the extended, well-worn road-trip jokes ("Don't make me pull over!"). Multilayered performances just barely keep the gags from feeling tired. And beyond the somewhat cliched premise is the son's genuine sense of mourning, for his father, for his childhood, and for our nation's loss of its heartland to chain stores and parking lots. Try as you might not to be manipulated into nostalgic twinges, don't be surprised if Leaving Iowa gets you in the end. Through 7/2: Thu-Fri 8 PM, Sat 5 and 8:30 PM, Sun 2 PM, Royal George Theatre Center, 1641 N. Halsted, 312-988-9000, $37-$42.

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