My Night With Reg | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

My Night With Reg 

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My Night With Reg, Bailiwick Repertory. Suggesting a British cross between Jeffrey, The Boys in the Band, and one of French filmmaker Eric Rohmer's "moral tales," this bittersweet comedy-drama by Kevin Elyot explores friendship, love, truth, and deception among three old college chums: shy Guy, anxious about contracting HIV and resigned to a hermitlike existence; flamboyant Daniel, whose lover is a never-seen American named Reg; and promiscuous John, who's been having an affair with Reg behind Daniel's back. When Reg dies of AIDS and his numerous other infidelities come to light, John must decide whether to tell Daniel about their affair--while Guy struggles with whether to confess to John his unrequited love for him.

This U.S. premiere, directed by David Zak for Bailiwick's Pride Performance Series, effectively conveys the ambivalent mix of irony and compassion in Elyot's witty dialogue. The solid ensemble--Robert Bailey as Guy, Scott Cooper as Daniel, Jonathan Goldman as John, and Ian Novak, Jerry Miller, and G. William Zorn as their friends--nicely capture the characters' surface reserve and quiet inner turmoil, though their English accents aren't always on target. This thoughtful, moving, appealing play well deserves the transatlantic audience the Bailiwick staging will help it reach.

--Albert Williams

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