Lake Street Extension | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Lake Street Extension

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Oracle Productions opens the doors of its new storefront theater with this 1992 Lee Blessing drama about an abusive father, his troubled son, and the Salvadoran refugee who lives with them for a time. These are turbulent waters for a maiden voyage, but director Aaron Shapiro's production holds up reasonably well. Exploiting the cramped space and squalid-looking set, Shapiro has created a persuasive atmosphere of oppressive seediness. As the son, a victim who becomes an oppressor, Edward Beck gives a gripping performance, by turns vulnerable and menacing. Unfortunately, the tension that Beck and Shapiro build so carefully is squandered by David Boettcher's affected and rather fussy take on the father. He saps the play of its nervous energy, its best asset. Through 7/30: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 7 PM. Oracle Productions, 3809 N. Broadway, 773-244-2980. $12; $20 Fri 7/29.

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