A Pair of Pinters | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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A Pair of Pinters

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A Pair of Pinters, Raven Theatre. A dozen productions of the same Harold Pinter drama could be staged without a single moment being duplicated: his plays' ambiguities allow performers to choose their own subtext. But while actors and directors may relish playing Pinter, audiences often scratch their heads over him.

The two Pinter one-acts presented by Raven Theatre are no exception. In Victoria Station a taxi dispatcher becomes increasingly impatient with an insolent driver. And in The Room a reclusive apartment dweller is confronted by a messenger from her past after a couple hint that they might soon be replacing her as tenants. Is Pinter warning us not to let upward mobility delude us into forgetting our origins? Is the cabbie reminding his superior that they're both boys from the hood? Raven seems to give a racial subtext to The Room: Pinter specifies that the mysterious visitor from the past be cast with a black actor, but here one house hunter is also black while the other is white. Could the threatened housewife be trying to pass as white?

With Pinter, we don't know. But director Teri McCaskill and her cast know--in particular, Jann Iaco as the incumbent tenant and Stacie Doublin as her prospective usurper--making for a tense, immediate production.

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