What Rhymes With America | McKaw Theater | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Olivia Nicholson and Dan Sauer

Olivia Nicholson and Dan Sauer

Molly Maloney

When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through May 27 2017
Price: $20
This bittersweet character study by Melissa James Gibson (best known as a writer for TV's House of Cards and The Americans) was an off-Broadway success in 2012. In Theatre Above the Law's intimate, bare-bones production, Dan Sauer plays Hank, a divorced father, who's trying to maintain contact with his teenage daughter, Marlene (Olivia Nicholson), despite the opposition of his bitter ex-wife. Stymied and frustrated, Hank—a financially strapped economist who's thousands of dollars behind in his child support—unsuccessfully explores relationships with two women: introverted Lydia (Alicia Ciuffini), an unemployed writer coping with grief following her father's death, and extroverted Sheryl (Brittany Vogel), an untalented actress who can't even hold on to her gig as an opera supernumerary. Under Tony Lawry's direction, the cast—especially Sauer, a seasoned off-Loop theater veteran—nicely capture the characters' sense of inadequacy and anxiety in this alternately poignant, painful, and wryly funny play. —Albert Williams



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