In a Word | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

In a Word The Short List (Theater) Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Mar. 19 2016

In one inattentive moment, Fiona’s seven-year-old was abducted. Now, two years later, Fiona’s barricaded herself behind grief, guilt and denial, leaving her long-suffering husband, Guy, to wonder whether adultery might be his surest route to emotional healing. It’s a promising setup, but playwright Lauren Yee never moves beyond her premise. Instead she devotes 85 minutes of fractured, at times hallucinogenic scenes to filling in Fiona’s backstory with little dramatic purpose beyond justifying Fiona’s psychological state (as if losing a child doesn’t explain enough). In lieu of drama, Yee embellishes stasis with incessant, overwrought poetic flourishes. There’s no shortage of pathos in director Jess McLeod’s sure-footed production, although Mary Winn Heider’s Fiona is so tightly wound she’s often exhausting to listen to. —Justin Hayford

Price: $28

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