Summer People | Gift Theatre Company | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 13 2009
Price: $15-$25
The most powerful impression created by this new play from Gift Theatre ensemble member Jenny Connell is that it probably would've worked better as a novel. The really interesting things that happen to Connell's stressed-out characters--a troubled GI newly returned from Iraq, a campground manager with a purple heart and PTSD from Vietnam, a bitter divorced mom and her two daughters--occur inside their heads, into which Connell's script never manages to reach effectively. Not that Connell doesn't try: most notably, she treats the ghosts haunting the GI as onstage characters. But even those phantasms seem opaque, lacking much to do other than hang around waiting for the inevitable paroxysm of violence. Despite a charming performance by Rae Gray as the divorcee's teenage daughter and an appropriately creepy one by Rob Belushi as the GI, Summer People fails to take us where the story is. --Tony Adler

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