Leopard Woman | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Warning: David Gilbert's new play is about people who never learn, never change, and take forever to leave the stage. True, he's filled his nearly three-hour fictional biography of a blacklisted screen actress with lots of heated arguments, melodramatic speeches, and appearances before congressional committees, not to mention a series of amazingly bad career moves (she passes on starring roles in A Streetcar Named Desire and Little Big Man). But the noise never adds up to a compelling story. Gilbert's bloated script not only needs an editor and a point, it needs a much sharper production than this one by the Open Door Repertory Company, sluggishly directed by Mary Pat Sieck and performed by her sad-sack cast. Only Brian Rabinowitz, playing John Reed to the title character's Louise Bryant, seems to understand he's in a play and not a sleepy staged reading. Through 5/15: Fri-Sat 8 PM. Sun 5/15, 2 PM. Hatch School Auditorium, 1000 N. Ridgeland (enter on Harvey, east side of building), Oak Park, 708-802-1723. $12-$15.

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