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First produced in 1947, two years before Death of a Salesman, this play put Arthur Miller on the map. It's not hard to see why. The characters are strong, the dialogue vivid, and the story, about a businessman forced to face the consequences of his corrupt practices, is lean, muscular, and moving--even in David Mink's ragged production. On opening night the first act was particularly sluggish, with the slightly off, sometimes restrained, sometimes over-the-top performances associated with community theater. But the cast grew increasingly energetic and self-assured, and by the end most of them were pitch-perfect, with Lanny Lutz a standout. Through 11/21: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 2 PM. Athenaeum Theatre, third-floor studio theater, 2936 N. Southport, 312-922-1999. Free.

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