David and Lisa | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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David and Lisa


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First a book, then a movie, then a play by James Reach, this tale of two mentally ill teens healed by love is now officially a chestnut. The attitudes and therapeutic approaches it invokes are more than 40 years old and way outmoded. Anybody intending to revive it ought to think hard about how, why, and whether to do so. The folks at Lincoln Square Theater clearly haven't. Director Kristina Schramm offers an update here and there--turning the play's resident satyromaniac, for instance, into a 21st-century thug (albeit one who gets off singing Cole Porter). But these spotty, superficial changes only call attention to the material's quaint Freudianisms, sappy pseudo-Hitchcockian metaphors, and clinical obsolescence. The acting doesn't compensate. Jeremy Sorkin's David seems more prissy than pained. And Rhiannon Koehler physicalizes Lisa's schizophrenia, bizarrely, as a kind of palsy. Only Jerry Miller as a fatherly psychiatrist survives. Through 5/29: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Sun 6 PM. Lincoln Square Community Arts Center, Berry Memorial United Methodist Church, 4754 N. Leavitt, 773-275-9735. $10-$12.

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