This Is Our Youth | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

This Is Our Youth 

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In the 80s, novelists Jay McInerney and Bret Easton Ellis drew a connection between the 60s counterculture and the Reagan-era revolt against consumerism. Playwright Kenneth Lonergan had considerably more time to ponder the mysteries of the 80s before writing this 1996 play, set in 1982. But he couldn't come up with any more compelling ideas about the selfishness of the time and the show's three characters: rich, bored New York college kids holding a suitcase full of stolen cash. The play's slow crawl to its obvious conclusion may recall Beckett, but This Is Our Youth owes way more to Eric Bogosian's SubUrbia: the playwright's noncommittal approach makes these characters more detestable than sympathetic. Still, in this Keyhole Theatre Company production Stuart Ritter puts some fight into the play's passive protagonist in the second act, when the character tries to claw his way out of a rat's-nest apartment prison. Through 10/24: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Sun 7 PM. Josephenium, 1501 N. Oakley, 773-805-5055. $12-$15.

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