The Boy Detective Fails | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

The Boy Detective Fails 

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Joe Meno's adaptation of his forthcoming novel proves vibrant, funny, and at times strange and disturbing in the hands of House Theatre of Chicago. In Meno's tale, a former boy detective has grown up and just been released from a mental institution. Before he takes his own life, he's determined to investigate his sister's tragic suicide. The company's typically sprawling ingenuity has been reined in here, perhaps by the strong narrative, which provides a great showcase for the ensemble's fine acting, Kevin O'Donnell's harpsichord-and-string score (played live), and director Nathan Allen's whimsical invention. Lighting was dim and scene changes were awkward at the performance I saw but they never really interfered with this creative, engaging production. Through 7/1: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 7 PM, Viaduct Theater, 3111 N. Western, 773-251-2195, $10-$19, industry shows Thu and Sun.

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