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Prudence of the Deep Blue Wild

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Bill Lederer's darkly humorous new play for the Atlas Theater Company focuses on a dying comatose patient (Guy Massey, struggling for dignity in a difficult role). As his interior monologue makes clear, Joe Gill is no blank-brained Terri Schiavo: he can sense the surrounding world--full of thieves, opportunists, and betrayers--but can't strike back. Unfortunately it's hard to connect the pathetic accident that's caused his daily humiliations, like falling out of bed and wanting to pull out his life support, with any dramatic purpose. As one character puts it, his life is just "unconscious agony in the midst of passive resistance." Director Stefan Brun makes helplessness as interesting as it ever gets. Opens Thu 11/17, 8 PM. Through 12/18: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM. Prop Thtr, 3502-4 N. Elston, 847-525-5705. $15-$20.

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