An Evening With the Egos | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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An Evening With the Egos

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AN EVENING WITH THE EGOS, Eye 40 Productions, at Breadline Theatre. There's nothing new about this play's central device: a budding couple's inner selves are represented by another pair of young lovers bent on dragging their real-life counterparts together. The dissociative concept is at least as old as ego consciousness, but playwright Joseph De Rosa employs the conceit with such lightness and ingenuity it seems completely fresh. And in the hands of director Maria Gobetti and her superb, charismatic cast, every comic moment sparkles.

William and Carol are watercooler acquaintances who slowly succumb to the dreaded office romance. Their better halves are Billy and CC, who aren't about to let William and Carol screw up a good thing. As the two coworkers navigate the tense post-hook-up terrain, their psyches untangle the neuroses holding them back. Whenever this dynamic threatens to get too cutesy or pat, De Rosa coolly flips the hierarchy--for all their fumbling, ultimately William and Carol are the ones who determine the outcome.

Jeremy Kent Jackson and Adrianne Avey are wonderful as the real-world half of the quartet, fully embracing the aw-shucks charm of their roles. Juliette Miller's dance and voice work as CC is showstopping, and Dominic Catrambone is swaggeringly, sarcastically hilarious as Billy. All four are nonchalantly flawless in various psychodramatic walk-ons. If ever there was a date show that didn't suck, this is it.

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