The Bound Trilogy | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

The Bound Trilogy 

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The Bound Trilogy, C'est la Vie Drama Group, at Breadline Theatre. Playwright Paul Barile's solution to the problem of keeping characters sufficiently proximate to promote conflict is to tie someone up, as he does in the one-acts comprising "The Bound Trilogy." In Abducted a hostage and his kidnapper vie for control of the situation. Civil Restraint opens with a bar-hopping male held captive by a curious virgin in her apartment. And in Ransomed a psychiatrist and her group-therapy charges gang up on a malingerer.

In Civil Restraint, under Chad Eric Bergman's direction, Kristen Braitkrus and Dennis Schnell maintained command of Barile's Pinteresque silences despite the distraction of guffawing chums in the house. But unfortunately the tension that Paul Jensen and Nick Ferrin should have generated in Abducted, directed by Michael David Mohr, was crippled on opening night by a malfunctioning prop. That piece should soon recover its equilibrium.

Ransomed is the evening's big disappointment: its insane-asylum setting is a cliche among young writers, and Brian LaDuca's laissez-faire direction allows Marc Lessman to portray a stereotypically infantile inmate with so much adrenaline that the other performers are forced to adopt a similarly shrill delivery. This obscures the text, and our comprehension. Otherwise, however, the C'est la Vie ensemble gives Barile's acting-class exercises a capable, if academic, treatment.

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