Drapes | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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In today's reactionary climate, I'm inclined to give after-school specialties like this one by Quade Productions the benefit of the doubt. But playwright Stephen House would exhaust the patience of a saint. Following the disintegration of her latest romance, alcoholic, middle-aged single mother Peyton moves back in with her mom, Estelle. Peyton's son Jake struggles with that emerging staple of the stage, a vaguely obsessive-compulsive disorder, while her oily new boyfriend plots to have Estelle sign over the house. Meanwhile grandma's secret paramour, ex-prostitute Babe, plays protector to Estelle, mentor to Jake, and all-around poster girl for proud-and-out loudness. Even if any of this were fresher or more believable, the play's cut-and-dried conclusion--grandma's gay, that's OK, and everything is Peyton's fault--would still seem utterly blindered. A strong cast does what it can, but mere window treatments can't rescue what's behind the glass. Through 7/3: Thu-Fri 8:30 PM, Sat 8 PM, Sun 3:30 PM. Victory Gardens Theater, first-floor studio, 2257 N. Lincoln, 773-871-3000. $22.

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