Meaningless | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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MEANINGLESS, Bailiwick Repertory. Peter Sinn Nachtrieb's play, winner of Bailiwick's young playwrights contest, is entertaining despite its evidence of inexperience. Nachtrieb aims to give a Gen-X perspective to the story of a young gay man who graduates from college in the late 90s and moves with his lesbian best friend to San Francisco. The dot-com boom provides a backdrop for Ted's and Linda's relationship woes, and Nachtrieb's sharp sense of humor and readiness to break the fourth wall--the characters' asides acknowledge theatrical conventions--help make this exercise in nostalgia work.

Nachtrieb's wit doesn't entirely compensate for the show's main weakness, however. Though the characters tell us that Ted is a self-absorbed drama queen (played by Erez Shek to the aptly annoying hilt) who must learn to value friendship, we see too little of him interacting happily with Linda to care whether he appreciates her or not. As directed by Lee Peters, Laura Coleman fares well as the lesbian friend, but there isn't enough at stake for this fun, funny play to really make its point.

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