As Much As You Can | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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As Much As You Can

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Beginner's luck may account for the ups and downs of this effort from seasoned performer and first-time playwright Paul Oakley Stovall. His family drama dives headlong into identity politics--a young man brings home his boyfriend of another race--and somehow lands gracefully on the other side. Nonchalantly, with unforced humor and organic ease, Stovall sketches out complex characters and simmering conflicts. But having done the hard part, he doesn't know where to go next and proceeds to undo some of his own fine work. In the last 15 minutes his light touch deserts him, and the play falls prey to overemphasis, even compromising an otherwise artful blazon of civil rights leader Bayard Rustin that neatly ties up the major themes. At which point it's suddenly clear just how good the compulsively watchable cast of this Dog & Pony show has been. Through 2/12: Thu-Fri 8:30 PM, Sat 4 and 8:30 PM. Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark, 773-871-1195. $15.

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