In Bed With a Married Man | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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In Bed With a Married Man

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IN BED WITH A MARRIED MAN, Bailiwick Repertory. Will the two dullest men alive find true love in each other's arms? This seems to be the burning question behind Alan Brown's ultralite play. Steve is a married closet case trading sexual satisfaction for middle-class respectability. Andrew is an out free spirit who secretly longs for the domestic doldrums of marriage. They meet in a porno booth, fuck twice in one afternoon, and start thinking about china patterns.

OK, things aren't quite that simple. Steve's in that pesky marriage, for example. Still, Brown's characters face dramatic hurdles no more imposing than speed bumps. Mr. and Mr. Vanilla have the decidedly unhuman ability to explain their every emotional nuance to each other; as Steve laments to Andrew, "I need someone I can trust to help me out with feelings I can't express to anyone else." Throughout the quick-trick-as-psychotherapy first act, Brown neglects to give either character an ounce of personality.

Clearly this is something of a throwaway production; the couple's bed has been plunked in the midst of the set for another show--a towering enchanted forest, of all things. Still, director David Zak keeps the pace up and the clothes off long enough to keep things as interesting as they can be.

--Justin Hayford

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