Diner Tales | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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In Coffee on Wednesday, the first of two overlapping one-acts by Tim Joyce, he shows genuine compassion for a pair of middle-aged buddies who meet regularly at the neighborhood diner. We're won over by their overgrown-adolescent banter--leering at the waitress, giggling over baseball players with funny names--masking uneasiness over their places in a changing universe. But then Joyce abandons them in Without a Net to focus on the career decisions of the waitress, also a circus performer. This second one-act--filled with urban stereotypes, slapstick sight gags, and the sort of implausible behavior found only in sitcoms--might have its fans. But in the end Joyce's combination plate is unlikely to appeal to a single audience. Through 7/16: Fri-Sat 8:30 PM, Sun 7 PM, Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark, 773-338-2177, $12-$15.

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