Jeffrey | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Paul Rudnick's 1993 tragicomedy, now happily dated in its depiction of the early years of AIDS, centers on the title character's sudden attack of abstinence: With a virus on the loose, sex is no fun, even (or especially) if it's safe. Exasperating Jeffrey is the last gay man in New York to sense that a would-be lover, HIV+ Steve, is as good for him as air or water. The play, presented by Hubris Productions, takes too long to reach its obvious outcome, as does Scott Shallenbarger's ingratiating--and earsplitting--staging. But its good-hearted portraits of merry matchmakers, Queer Nation activists, and square-dancing Gothamites could melt a cynics convention, and the ensemble is more than game. Jacob Christopher Green's Jeffrey and Brian Lee Bennett's Steve seem as well matched as their triple names. Through 8/5: Thu-Sun 8 PM, Stage Left Theatre, 3408 N. Sheffield, 773-784-2772, $10-$15, industry shows Thu.

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