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I Will Swallow the Rain

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Andrew Perez's new play has two disparate halves: a melancholy young man in a dingy basement apartment decides to drink himself to death on his 21st birthday by downing five bottles of Scotch, while outside an apocalyptic battle rages between comic book superheroes. Perez, who also directs this Red Jacket Theatre production, tries hard to bring the two stories together, but the comic book high jinks consistently undermine the other plot's emotional sincerity. This frustrates all the more because the birthday boy is a compelling character at once deeply wounded, insufferably selfish, and bitterly funny. Perez gets a great performance from Jonny Sanders, who uncovers a host of layers to the young man's depression, from dark despair to flamboyant self-pity. Through 8/26: Thu-Fri 8 PM, Sat 8 and 11 PM, Profiles Theatre, 4147 N. Broadway, 312-493-9561, $10-$15.

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