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Spare in language and rich in ideas, Caryl Churchill's 2002 one-act marks her continuing evolution from sprawling examinations of sexual and class politics like Top Girls and Cloud Nine to less overtly political but absolutely chilling portraits of the tangled impulses underlying relationships. Human cloning is the engine driving the play's plot, but Churchill's double- and triple-edged script covers parental neglect, urban paranoia, and the entirely human but inevitably monstrous desire to erase the past. Director B.J. Jones, in an economical but revealing one-hour staging, gives this intelligent, poetic chamber piece all the careful attention, respect, and love a playwright could wish for her creative offspring. And John Judd and Jay Whittaker make no false steps as they negotiate the play's many shifts and turns. Through 2/26: Thu 7:30 PM, Fri-Sat 8 PM, Sun 2 PM, Next Theatre Company, Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes, Evanston, 847-475-1875, ext. 2, $12.50-$35.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Michael Brosilow.

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