Of Mice and Men | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The performance space isn't the only thing that's smaller than usual in this storefront staging--the text of John Steinbeck's classic has also been reduced, with dialogue and whole characters missing. These abridgments may be the source of somewhat eccentric interpretations under Michael Rice's direction. Peter Esposito's avuncular Candy and J.J. McCormick's embittered Crooks resist the temptation to rush the action, but Anderson Lawfer as George pushes the intensity in his early scenes, and Curley's Wife is given comic-book proportions. These flaws, however, don't diminish the empathy evoked for the protagonists, who hope for a better future but see their plans go tragically awry. Through 3/28: Sun 3 PM, Mon-Tue 8 PM, Steep Theatre, 3902 N. Sheridan, 312-458-0722, $15.

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