Lay Me Down Softly | Den Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Lay Me Down Softly The Short List (Theater) Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through May 25 2014

A wee losers' romance by Irish playwright Billy Roche, Lay Me Down Softly gives us the lost souls of the "Academy," a tent show that goes from town to town offering local yokels the chance to knock down a so-called boxer known as Killer Deano. Besides the insufferable Killer, there's Theo, who runs the operation; Theo's pissed-off girlfriend, Lily; an aging ringside Buddha named Peadar; and Junior, whose promising welterweight career was cut short when his heel "went" on him. These five are joined soon enough by Theo's long-lost daughter, Emer, and events roll out from there with a resolute predictability. In the absence of surprises, the piece stands or falls depending on how we feel about the characters. Kevin Christopher Fox's staging for Seanachai Theatre Company offers quietly vivid performances by Dan Waller as Junior and Michael Grant as Peadar. And Matthew Isler deserves credit for selflessly making Killer as annoying as possible. But Jamie L. Young leaves a crucial blank where Emer should be, and Jeff Christian is cartoonishly gruff as Theo. —Tony Adler

Price: $26-$30


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