Let Me Down Easy | American Theater Company | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Let Me Down Easy The Short List (Theater) Image Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Oct. 10 2014

Anna Deavere Smith's 2008 documentary-theater piece features 20 short monologues on health care, the body, death, and dying, taken from interviews with doctors, cancer patients, spiritual leaders, athletes, and public figures like supermodel Lauren Hutton and former Texas governor Ann Richards. In Bonnie Metzgar's peripatetic staging, all the parts are played by Usman Ally, whose characterizations are crisp and intense—though he's not as good a mimic as Smith is; nearly all of his women, for instance, speak in the same fluted tones. As in her previous solo work, Smith displays a huge capacity for empathy and a gift for finding eloquence in everyday speech. But perhaps because the focus of this show is so broad, the monologues often seem diffuse and full of unilluminating tangents. —Zac Thompson

Price: $43-$48

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