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An Evening With the Halfway House

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I've seen the future and it isn't ready yet. Penned by grad students at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the three short works presented by Halfway House Theater Society demonstrate lots of playfulness, the occasional whiff of talent, but no craft to speak of. No sense of how to tell a story to an audience--and too often, no evident desire to do so. All three go in for adolescent mystifications, as if a drama were a hip code to be kept uncracked rather than a secret to be shared. The best piece is M. Stephen Duffey Jr.'s Ham Salad, in which a writer, his brother, and the brother's girlfriend do things that at least suggest intention. Rob Gilmor's Rit of Fealous Jage uses voice-over to good effect but no point. And as for Chris Bower's Benny's Baby--put your own cruel line about abortion here. Through 3/12: Fri-Sat 10 PM. Prop Thtr, 3502-4 N. Elston, 773-539-7838. $15 or "pay what you can."

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