Homecomings | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


Part of the Goodman's Mamet festival, this program of three short plays starts with a very early work and progresses to a very recent one, getting meaner but also more masterful along the way. The Duck Variations (1972) portrays a pair of old kibitzers whose park-bench ruminations produce only one solid conclusion: that the young Mamet was a talent of extraordinary potential. In The Disappearance of the Jews (1983) the ruminations come from a couple of boyhood friends who've reached their late 30s and have wives, kids, solid jobs, some fond memories--and dark fantasies of escape. Home (2005) dispenses with the ruminations, the friendship, and most certainly the escape fantasy: it's a harsh sketch of marital breakdown as psychological death match. Though The Duck Variations is half ruined by a preening performance from Howard Witt, the other two (and a half) productions deliver powerful effects, ranging from sweet delight to Medean rage. "Homecomings" reinvigorates a festival whose first two offerings seemed to do its subject's reputation more harm than good. Sat 4/8, 8 PM, Wed 4/12, 7:30 PM, Fri 4/14, 8 PM, and Sat 4/15, 2 PM, Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn, 312-443-3800, $15-$35, festival passes $70-$205 (do not include admission to The Revenge of the Space Pandas or American Buffalo: A Celebration).

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Michael Brosilow.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Add a comment