Pleasant Dreams | Chopin Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Pleasant Dreams The Short List (Theater) Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Nov. 8 2013

It's good to see Two Lights Theatre Company reviving work from Milwaukee's Theatre X. For over 30 years, until its 2004 closing, X was a pocket of audacity in America's dairyland, and its many original scripts ought to provide loads of material for other companies to explore. This 1992 piece by X's John Schneider chronicles a backyard birthday party that goes a wee bit haywire when Larry accuses his older brother, Freddy, of having an affair with his wife. Director Daniel Dvorkin gets some of Schneider's postmodern gestures right, including the Astroturf lawn and the live quartet performing sweet old standards like "In the Good Old Summertime." But the acting offers no parallel sense of artifice. The cast's more or less naturalistic approach creates the impression that Pleasant Dreams is a bland, slightly confused love story, when it's really a black comedy about people who will go to any lengths to keep even a rotted-out life intact. —Tony Adler

Price: $15-$20