Barebones and Skin II: The Dangling Conversation | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Barebones and Skin II: The Dangling Conversation

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Two local playwrights and four from LA explore deliberately dangling conversations in six one-acts focused on reconstructing emotions from the words that exploit and distort them or connecting a tragedy to the failure to communicate. The strongest scripts, Stephen Cone's The Dancer and Chris Kelley's Salt Ink, show how misspoken love ensures its own reversal. The most accessible, Robert Fieldsteel's Bad Language and Bob Wilson's No Uncertain Words, playfully spoof our ambivalence about obscenities, which are useful only so long as they retain their shock value. Both of these are too long, but they add up. And the dialogue is a dead end in Simon Levy's overwritten Pink Skin and Hank Bunker's unfocused A Lovely Picture. The actors exhibit the sort of conviction the texts should have justified. Interestingly, the implicit dialogue between the plays comes across better than the dialogue within them. Through 6/26: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 7 PM. Side Studio, 1520 W. Jarvis, 773-973-2150. $10-$15.

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