All Aboard | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

ALL ABOARD, Mirrors Image Productions, at Cafe Voltaire. This epistolary drama by David Sheppard explores the friendship between two women who meet briefly during a plane ride and become friends for life. Unfortunately, in both the script and this production (directed by Sheppard), their attraction to one another seems forced from the first.

Kristin is a shy, bookish, indecisive student destined to evolve into a shy, bookish, doormat of a housewife. Monique is an assertive, slightly glamorous law student with her life mapped out for success. The connection they feel is never clear; their conversation on the plane is personal only in a general way ("I just think love is so beautiful," sighs Kristin, hugging the romance novel on her lap); and the letters that follow reveal mostly sketchy details of their everyday lives, with an emphasis on their rotten marriages. The story is told in flashback as Kristin takes a train trip to meet Monique; her journey seems symbolic of some sort of liberation--presumably her own, triggered by Monique. But in the end it isn't much of a liberation: she returns to her spectacularly self-absorbed husband at the drop of an apology. And the actual reunion between Kristin and Monique borrows a plot twist straight out of one of the romance novels Kristin so loves.

Christie Hubbard and Janet Milstein are competent enough. But it would take a couple of geniuses to make this friendship fly.

In my review of Mozart & Salieri last week, I neglected to mention

that Mozart was not the only composer. Additional music was by pianist/composer Allan Segall.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  →