The Distance From Here | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

The Distance From Here 

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If Neil LaBute weren't already Neil LaBute, I'd say this 2002 play shows potential. There's some nicely structured dialogue, effective black humor, a novel variation on the baby-stoning bit from Edward Bond's Saved--and most of all, a noble refusal to demonize even the most grotesque behavior. But the author/auteur of In the Company of Men should be beyond the sluggish predictability of this look at suburban teenaged lumpen rage. With a stock assortment of degenerate parents and disaffected kids and tropes out of Jerry Springer and Maury Povich (plus an earnest overlay of Michael Moore), this is 105 minutes of deja vu. Jeffrey Cass's staging doesn't help: its cheaply-paneled-hell aesthetic just compounds LaBute's cliches. Through 12/18: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM. Thu 12/1-12/15, 8 PM. Circle Theatre, 7300 W. Madison, Forest Park, 708-771-0700. $21-$23.

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