Still Life | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Still Life 

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Emily Mann's earnest 1980 script about a Vietnam vet, his wife, and his lover is interesting mostly as proof of how much better she became at writing docudrama. It's unlikely anyone needs reminding today how tough it was to return from Vietnam, and the play's "war is hell" mantra feels like sloganeering. In Alex Levy's overly polite staging, the three actors are trapped for most of the play's 90 minutes in unvarying vocal patterns as they deliver monologues about wartime atrocities, spousal abuse, and alcoholism. Lisa Stevens is occasionally compelling as the tormented soldier's suffering wife, and Jack Magaw's inventive set adds visual texture. But Mann's script is full of uncomfortable details that never coalesce into a cohesive narrative. Through 4/9: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM, no show Thu 3/2, Pegasus Players, O'Rourke Performing Arts Center, Truman College, 1145 W. Wilson, 773-878-9761, $17-$25.


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