Visiting Edna | Steppenwolf Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Debra Monk and Ian Barford

Debra Monk and Ian Barford

Michael Brosilow

When: Wednesdays-Saturdays. Continues through Nov. 6 2016
Price: $32.50-$86
I imagine the smoldering, borderline nihilistic spirit that drives David Rabe’s new end-of-life drama is what my mother, who died of cancer in 2010, felt in solitude during her darkest moments. My God, I wish this script had a bit more of her fight against grief, too. A middle-aged father spends a few days with his widowed mom when it becomes clear that palliative care could be fast-approaching reality. Cancer and television are personified as full-fledged characters, details that ring true—in those claustrophobic confines, you’re damn right a TV feels like a welcome soul in the room, though the metaphysical analogy gets muddled. Anna D. Shapiro’s Steppenwolf production ultimately falls victim to Roger Ebert’s Human Centipede conundrum, in which something sets out to be agonizing, then succeeds. —Dan Jakes

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