My Juilliard | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Gloria J. Browne's play about bickering generations is itself like a long-standing family argument: repetitive, wandering, and progressively frustrating. There's enough melodrama in it to fuel a soap opera--which is what this production feels like given Kemati Perter's awkward staging. The script skims over a rape, a murder, dementia, and the death of a brother, though really it's about what happens to people faced with the failure of their dreams. Caroline (a nice, truculent turn by Lauren Wells), a gifted teenage pianist, is admitted to Juilliard but hesitant about going because she feels her life is following a script; her mother, Deborah (Makeba Pace), a failed writer, is desperate to learn the identity of her father before her mother's memory, damaged by Alzheimer's, can no longer reveal its secrets; and Deborah's mother, Grace (Felisha McNeal), a once promising concert pianist herself, confronts her own impending decline and death. The spirit behind the play is well-meaning, but the work just plain falls flat. Through 1/2: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 and 7 PM. ETA Creative Arts Foundation, ETA Square, 7558 S. South Chicago, 773-752-3955. $25; two for one Thu and 7 PM Sun (except closing night).

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