Fighting Words | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Fighting Words

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Maybe the success of Million Dollar Baby convinced Rivendell Theatre Ensemble that the time was ripe to stage a play about women and boxing. Trouble is, playwright Sunil Kuruvilla doesn't let his three female characters get in any knockout punches. This is familiar territory: three women in a dying Welsh town wrestle with dashed dreams of love and glory after their men go to America to watch the local hero battle for the 1980 bantamweight title. The tale is soggy, and director Tara Mallen's staging fails to enliven it. Though Marilynn Bogetich's stoic matron is appealing, Lia Mortensen and Jenny Strubin are unconvincing as combative siblings, further reducing the dramatic stakes. Through 4/23: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM, Viaduct Theater, 3111 N. Western, 773-472-1169, $15-$20.

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