Down Range | National Pastime Theater | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Down Range Member Picks The Short List (Theater) Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Aug. 31 2014

Jeffrey Skinner’s award-winning poetry is lean, focused, and essential. Would that this 2009 play, making its Chicago premiere at Genesis Theatrical Productions, were the same. Skinner concocts several promising stories about career army buddies Frank and Doc and their long-suffering wives—then provides only a scene or two from each. So whether he’s trying to dramatize the plight of army wives stranded stateside or the addictive lure of live combat or the encroachment of workaday reality into youthful idealism, he sketches the highlights but lets little develop, making this nearly two-and-a-half-hour play feel largely aimless. The muddled chronology doesn’t help. Still, director Kay Martinovich’s mostly sterling cast injects impressive psychological nuance into the mix. As emotionally tortured Frank, Carl Herzog never hits a false note. —Justin Hayford

Price: $45

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