Karma Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 2 2012

Chicago-based Senyah Haynes looks at how the past haunts the present in her new play about a dysfunctional African-American family. Haynes has packed Karma with interesting insights and (perhaps too many) big traumas, including alcoholism, accusations of adultery, and the death of a child. But she needs to work on her storytelling. Rather than draw the audience in or let events unfold, she presents us with a series of flat, predictable moments in the characters' lives. Then she tries to tie it all up at the end with easy bromides: communication is important, love conquers all, forgiveness is a good thing. This Saint Martin Repertory production features a number of strong performances, notably from Warren Feagins as a good-hearted friend to the protagonists, and Olivia Charles as a tough middle-aged woman doing all she can to survive. —Jack Helbig

Price: $20

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