Theatre

Saturday, 25 June 2016 18:42

"This" Attempts To Identify With Thirty-Something Doubt Featured

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I thoroughly enjoy the Windy City Playhouse and it appears they did a renovation since I was there last. The seats are comfortable and a full bar is a fantastic feature to any theater, if you ask me. In addition, the staff are incredibly friendly and very caring. I will definitely try another play here but I have to say, This, left little to be desired. 

 

This explores the ups and downs of life from a group of five friends in their upper thirties. The set opens up in Tom (Steve O'Connell) and Marrell's (Tania Richard) New York apartment. They are hosting friends Jane (Amy Rubenstein) and Alan (Joe Zarrow). It is quickly discovered that Jane is a widow and Marrell is looking to set her up with her French friend, Jean Pierre, who is played by Brian Gray. As this group of friends reminisce about the college days they had spent together we gradually care less and less about them as there is nothing about them that is really likable or pulls us in. Over magnifying the problems and "tough" life decisions of this privileged and highly educated collection of characters (yawn), playwright Melissa James Gibson falls short in creating individuals we want to identify with. This tends to drag and never really comes around, refusing to engage its audience.      

 

I found the plot to be a bit predictable; maybe because it has been done before. I had a hard time connecting to this group of self-centered characters and found many of them to be a bit over the top. However, the best part of this play is Joe Zarrow. He played his witty character, Alan, perfectly and added just the right amount of comical relief when necessary. The only other plus besides Zarrow's performance, was in Katie-Bell Kenney's well-crafted set design to which we find ourselves peering into a believable apartment complex.   

 

Even though I didn't enjoy the play as much as other treasures at Windy City Playhouse, I'd still recommend taking the time to see it for yourself, if for any reason to support this wonderful theatre that has a great track record of hitting its mark. This is being performed at Windy City Playhouse (3014 W Irving Park Rd) through August 28th. Tickets range from $25-$45.

Sara Hassan

"Living the dream and loving life."

 

 

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