The House of Yes | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

The House of Yes 

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The House Of Yes, Wing & Groove Theatre Company, at Profiles Theatre. Wendy MacLeod's ghoulish little satire has been billed as a "suburban Jacobean play"--a catchy label, but The House of Yes seems more a rewrite of The Homecoming, a macabre exaggeration of Pinter's tale of a woman who goes home to meet her husband's folks only to be turned into the family whore. Here the unsuspecting working-class Lesly, visiting her fiance's well-heeled family, winds up being talked into sex by her pathetic fetishist brother-in-law-to-be Anthony while her fiance fucks his twin sister downstairs after reenacting the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

MacLeod's play may not have the depth, wit, or menace of Pinter's, but it's a tautly written work, by turns amusing and horrifying as it skewers the incestuous nature of American blue-blooded families. Director Andrew Gall creates an appropriate mood of lingering dread in this Wing & Groove production, hypnotizing the viewer into credulity even when MacLeod's work teeters on the borders of taste and believability. Amy Tourne brings a certain honesty and charm to the role of Lesly, and Kalen Allmandinger is both creepy and funny as the virginal, underwear-sniffing Anthony. But Christina Martin is far too young for the role of the family matriarch. Imitating the mannerisms of a caustic middle-aged woman straight out of Albee, she severely diminishes the credibility and suspense of an otherwise effective, self-assured production by a promising young company.

--Adam Langer

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