I Am Yours | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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I Am Yours

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I AM YOURS, Great Jones Theatre Company, at American Theater Company. In Judith Thompson's lyrical, fragmentary I Am Yours, a woman's one-night stand with her building superintendent sets off a chain of increasingly implausible events involving Dee, Dee's sex-starved sister, her hapless husband, the love-struck super, and his mom. Throughout this two-act meditation on loss, sexual frustration, and fear of intimacy, Thompson blends reality with her characters' dreams and memories, presented largely in rich, evocative monologues. But since the plot defies logic and credibility, the play fails to resonate emotionally.

What should be its most gripping moments are too convoluted. At the climax Dee goes into labor while the super, whom she's falsely accused of sexual assault, declares his undying love for her; meanwhile his mother, who's come with her son to steal Dee's child, spins a tale about her high school reunion. Grafting farcical elements onto an already improbable drama, Thompson creates a scene that, like much of the rest of her play, seems both underdeveloped and overblown.

Director Sheriden Thomas has assembled a competent, occasionally inspired cast, but she fails to rein in their shrill emotional outbursts, producing an over-the-top production even less subtle than Thompson's play. Fortunately the monologues escape the melodramatic treatment: deftly written and performed with uncharacteristic understatement, they seem almost to come from a different universe, offering a welcome respite from the rest of the play.

--Adam Langer

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