Nightingale in a Music Box | Chicago Reader

Nightingale in a Music Box

Local playwright Hurt McDermott wrote, directed, and edited this paranoid thriller, which gets off to a promising start but gradually ties itself up in expository psychobabble. A Chicago wife and mother (Catherine O'Connor) is caught with the formula for a dangerous microbe developed by a multinational corporation, and because she's completely amnesiac, a top security agent from a UN task force (Kelley Hazen) sets out to probe her memory until she reveals who recruited her. Hazen gives an impressive performance as the brilliant agent, though she's saddled with elucidating the dastardly plot and delivering verbal asides that prepare us for later developments (for a secret agent she seems to do a lot of thinking out loud). The script is intelligent but stagy: even when McDermott finally lets the two women outside, they sit in a car talking, trying to puzzle out a mystery whose solution has become more trouble than it's worth. With Andrzej Krukowski. 96 min.

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