The Threesome | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

The Threesome 

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THE THREESOME, Janus Theatre, at the Athenaeum Theatre. If this sporadically funny Eugene Labiche play is any indication, farce should not be played on such a small stage--or perhaps the problem is director Terence Domschke's ill use of the space. True, we're drawn in when actors deliver asides since we can't avoid eye contact with the characters. But more often the cramped quarters give this show a sloppy feel, exacerbating the sense that entrances and exits are haphazard. And even though Neil Bartlett's translation suggests the passage of time and new locations, entire acts are played pell-mell and seemingly all in one place.

The silly plot doesn't help. This might have been a fine comedy of manners and morals if Labiche hadn't decided to present his eight characters' umpteen different infidelities, indiscretions, and infatuations. The play's slight class commentary is dull and forced, and with few exceptions this ensemble's performances are too bland to distinguish the various philanderers. The play picks up some when Dan Neid gets into his tense, hyper servant and Stacy Loomis into his bold but bumbling adulterer, but this duo can't do it alone.

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