Danger Face | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Writer-director Idris Goodwin's new one-act for Hermit Arts is a slam-bang homage to the caper-gone-wrong genre, with a light sprinkling of the metaphysical musings of early Sam Shepard. Like Robert E. Sherwood's 1935 classic The Petrified Forest, the play takes place in a cafe occupied by outlaws--two brothers, one wounded in their foiled kidnapping attempt. The cafe is also owned by two brothers, and Goodwin weaves together the theme of dual (and dueling) personalities who together make one whole consciousness, as he has in his plays Braising and Verses. The four actors hit their stride early and with gusto, and Tony Sancho and Kevin Murphy's vigorous fight choreography almost spills over into the audience's laps. The piece feels incomplete, but its deadpan black humor and high-octane fight scenes make this the theatrical equivalent of a Coen brothers film without the bloat. Through 7/15: Thu-Fri 9 PM. Jinx Cafe, 1928 W. Division, 773-655-7066. $10.

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