Leaving Iowa | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Leaving Iowa

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Halfway through the journey of getting his father's cremains buried at a designated spot in Iowa, the journalist protagonist of Tim Clue and Spike Manton's comedy says, "I'm not sure how, and I'm not sure when, but we're going to see this done." An hour and four or five endings later, in the middle of a cornfield in Kansas, the story of Leaving Iowa gets resolved, tying a neat bow on a play that's all about futility: abortive road trips, fractured family relationships, and the general struggle to fulfill expectations. Howie Johnson steals the show in a series of bit parts while Bradley Armacost as the mathematically minded father is wonderfully expressive despite spending half his time onstage in stark silence. You can't argue with the script's subject, the omnipresent gravitational pull between father and son, but the sleepy tempo of Clue's staging bears looking at. Through 4/17: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 2:30 PM. Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 W. Belmont, 773-327-5252. $20-$28.

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