Grand View | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Grand View, Pegasus Players. In Pulitzer-winning novelist William Kennedy's first play, set in 1944 and based on real people, New York State's Democratic party boss Patsy McCall confronts his longtime political rival, purportedly high-minded reformer Corbett Atterby. Concise and well-paced, the play offers a sobering look at the realpolitik of love and government as Atterby arrives with his wife--McCall's former lover--and neurotic daughter Faye at Grand View, McCall's lake house, with the intention of settling old and new scores.

At times Kennedy's twisting plot veers toward the melodramatic, and his dialogue suffers from occasional B-movie hokiness. ("Smells like a setup?" McCall asks his flunky district attorney at one point. "It stinks," the man responds.) Still, McCall is a complex character, a cruel, scheming criminal who nevertheless has his own twisted conception of what's right, and the script is fairly compelling even if it does seem at least one good rewrite from completion.

Scoring something of a coup by securing the play's midwest premiere, Pegasus and director Terry McCabe perhaps treat the material with too much reverence, offering an overly cautious and consequently flat production. And affable broadcaster turned actor Joel Daly seems stretched beyond his limits in the role of McCall.

--Adam Langer

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