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Aline Lathrop's messy new domestic drama feeds on overworked formulas, symbols, and shock effects: a tense Thanksgiving family reunion, a festering dark secret, a sluttish teenager's seduction of her mother's middle-aged boyfriend, a faded rose memorializing a father who died under questionable circumstances. Unforgivable things get said without observable consequences, and after a lie is exposed the family repairs itself with alarming ease and swiftness. Yet Lathrop lets petty discussions go on forever--you want to shout "Drop it already!" every 15 minutes. Director Kimberly Senior works overtime to find the play's buried treasures, but to no avail; Marguerite Hammersley has the hardest going as the elaborately but unconvincingly miserable mother. --Lawrence Bommer a Through 2/18: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM, Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago, 312-633-0630, $22-$28.

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