Arts & Culture » Performing Arts Review

Bee-Luther-Hatchee

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Playwright Thomas Gibbons raises some fascinating questions about storytelling, authenticity, and race in this play about an editor and her troubled relationship with a reclusive author. The script has probably initiated hundreds of intelligent postshow discussions. But as a work of drama it too often teaches when it should be telling an interesting tale. Big chunks of the second act are devoted to a long argument that's half Socratic dialogue and half Crossfire-style harangue, addressing among other issues whether a middle-aged white man has the right to tell the story of an elderly African-American woman. What saves this Open Door Repertory Company production from falling into utter dreariness is the generally unpolished but passionate acting. Olivia Porter and Dale Glanzman in particular show so much fire together that I almost expected the editor and writer to fall in love by the end of the play. Through 2/20: Fri-Sat 8 PM. Thu 2/10, 8 PM. Sun 2/20, 2 PM. Hatch School Auditorium, 1000 N. Ridgeland (enter on Harvey, east side of building), Oak Park, 708-802-1723. $10-$18.

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