Ghost Gardens | Chicago Dramatists | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Ghost Gardens The Short List (Theater) Image Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thursdays-Saturdays. Continues through May 31 2015

The time is the dystopian present, the setting a Detroit neighborhood whose inhabitants hold on despite carcinogens spilling from a mill that can no longer support them. Steven Simoncic's play looks for all the world like an earnest issue piece, plumbing the depths of rust-belt collapse. And to some extent, that's what it is. But Simoncic comes at the issues from such an odd and humane angle that you don't have to put on your do-gooder helmet to watch it. Given a fluid, compassionate world-premiere staging by Pegasus Theatre's Ilesa Duncan, Ghost Gardens tells the tale of Lorelie, who isn't doing so well. Her mother has cancer, her good-natured oaf of a husband is halfway out of a job, and she buried a baby daughter ten years ago. But when she announces a new pregnancy, she becomes a symbol of hope for the community. Simoncic's script needs work: it ends weakly, ignores its own implications, and offers a disappointingly pat take on Lorelie's husband. The basics are there, though, and the dialogue is buoyant—especially in the mouths of an engaging cast. —Tony Adler

Price: $18-$30


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