Click, Breadline Theatre. To use a photography metaphor of the sort Click is stuffed with, this Breadline production, created by its nine members, reminds me of the struggle to make sense of pictures developed from an old, damaged roll of film. Marc Chevalier's lighting and set design force us to squint, working to discern the actors' faces and what they're doing in this frustratingly slow, vague, and downbeat two-hour production.
The six familiar characters, all in various states of self-denial or desperation, include a heartless tabloid journalist, a weird, malicious recluse in a wheelchair, a misunderstood homeless guy, and an ambitious man with a sad past who can't love anymore. The only actor doing anything interesting with her pat part is Jennifer Hunt, whose emotionally wounded young idealist can be compelling.
The play's obvious attempts to manufacture suspense unfortunately give away all its "secrets." As soon as a character shies away from a dark past or makes a veiled reference to a hidden hurt, we know it will come back as a crippling truth. Director Paul Kampf, one of Click's creators, is apparently too close to the play to see where it needs focus or to remedy the spots where it's overdeveloped or underexposed.