Three Hotels | Athenaeum Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Dave Belden

Dave Belden

Anthony La Penna

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Sept. 17 2016
Price: $25, $14 students and seniors
This 80-minute one-act by Jon Robin Baitz (who wrote the screenplay for Stonewall) chronicles the rise and fall of the career and marriage of Ken Hoyle, vice president of a transnational corporation clearly modeled on Nestle. Ken is in charge of marketing infant formula to African women as a substitute for breast milk, with scant regard for the consequences in nations with unsafe water supplies. His soul-rotting job—jetting around the world to cavalierly fire employees, knowingly conducting irresponsible sales practices in the Third World (such as dressing sales reps in nurses' uniforms)—is eroding his relationship with his wife, Barb, who's torn between loyalty to Ken and disgust at the man he's become. The play is structured as a series of monologues, each set in a different hotel room, in which Ken and Barb recount—and relive—their crisis. Baitz's theme of moral responsibility and his critique of global corporate bottom-line ruthlessness is, if anything, harder-hitting today than when the play premiered off-Broadway in 1993. Directed by Luda Lopatina Solomon, this Bluebird Arts production features imaginative multimedia visual and sound design, and actors Dave Belden and Jaimelyn Gray bring fierce conviction to their storytelling. —Albert Williams


4.6 out of 5

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