The Last Barbecue | 16th Street Theater, Berwyn Cultural Center | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Thursdays-Saturdays. Continues through Aug. 8 2009
Price: $16
Playwright Brett Neveu has devised a singularly unfestive occasion: a get-together commemorating a grim anniversary, at which the guest of honor doesn't show. Though described as a dark comedy, Neveu's 2000 play replaces the usual wisecracking dark comedians with characters whose midwestern silence, politeness, and passive aggression make conversation a slog. Expect instead the unintended humor of awkward exchanges as two husbands simmer, two squashed wives simper, and an outsider floats at the margins. Pointedly undramatic, the play is excruciating, placing the audience between contempt and compassion as the characters' limitations and repressions seep into our bones. Ann Filmer's emotionally delicate, physically rooted staging (employing three actors from her 2000 production of the same play) never takes a false step. --Laura Molzahn



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