Sidney Kingsley's 1935 drama, a shocker in its time, remains a powerful and prescient study of bonding and betrayal in the urban jungle. Featuring a huge cast, it focuses on the residents of a dead-end New York street where posh high-rises butt up against riverfront slums. When a former denizen, now a famous Dillinger-like gangster with a bounty on his head, returns to the neighborhood, there are repercussions for a gang of teenage street kids and a former gang member, now an unemployed architect who dreams of tearing down the tenements and building affordable housing. The Griffin Theatre's well-acted production of this rarely revived classic combines bumptious comedy, suspense, and aching honesty. a Through 11/12: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 3 PM, Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 W. Belmont, 773-327-5252, $24.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Michael Brosilow.