Absurd Person Singular | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Absurd Person Singular

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Absurd Person Singular, Wing & Groove Theatre. Alan Ayckbourn mixes hilarious farce with biting social satire in his three-act depiction of three couples over three consecutive Christmas Eves. Each act takes us to a different couple's kitchen, where Ayckbourn explores the comedy that results when the characters drop their company faces and run up against faltering marital bliss and other domestic crises. And the play is consistently funny in the hands of Wing & Groove director Amy Tourné and her adept cast.

The work starts on a high note of lunacy. Sidney (the thoroughly entertaining Aaron Lisman) and Jane Hopcroft (Autumn Lakosky) are so desperate to succeed and so wrapped up in the appearance of propriety that a shortage of tonic water sends them into a tizzy. What will their social betters, Ronald and Marion Brewster-Wright (John Westby and Karajeanne Trotter), think? Lakosky communicates Jane's mortification with squeaks, frenzied activity, and panicked faces that are alone worth the price of admission. Allison Latta as the drunken Eva Jackson steals the show's second act. Plotting suicide after discovering that her self-absorbed husband (Colin Milroy) is leaving her, the increasingly desperate Eva wordlessly tries to off herself; as played by the physically expressive Latta, she's a captivating clown.

Jeremy Reynolds's set design is problematic: it doesn't really suit any of the couples. But the mayhem that transpires in these kitchens is vivid nonetheless.

--Jenn Goddu

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