Seven Moves | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Seven Moves 

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Seven Moves, About Face Theatre. Carol Anshaw's 1996 novel has been respectfully adapted by Patricia Kane, who also plays the protagonist with understated wit and quiet anguish. Christine Snow is a psychologist (and former card sharp) whose lover Taylor, a travel photographer, disappears after a minor argument. As Christine journeys into their past, she discovers a trail of secrets and doubts.

Jessica Thebus's staging is adroit, but the central revelations of Anshaw's novel--which is heavy on Christine's interior monologues--don't translate well to a play. When it comes to Taylor (played with throaty allure by Elizabeth Rich), there is, to quote Gertrude Stein, simply no there there: her obsessions mark her as an older, smokier, lesbian Bridget Jones. And Anshaw's conclusion--that it's impossible to ever really know the people you love--is hardly a shocker.

The supporting cast does excellent work, particularly Marguerite Hammersley in a trio of roles: calculating news anchor, emotionally operatic therapy patient, and witchy French expatriate in Morocco. Matthew York's simple earth-toned set, backed by an expanse of leafless trees behind a scrim, subtly suggests the dangers lurking just outside cozy domesticity while Darin Keesing's excellent lighting conveys the shadowy corners of Christine's shifting world.

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