Quality Street | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Quality Street

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The anguish of aging runs through James M. Barrie's seemingly playful dramas. If Peter Pan celebrates eternal youth, his equally bittersweet Quality Street defies time's ravages to offer the reassurance of a second chance at love. Barrie's 1901 homage to Jane Austen's Persuasion is a Napoleonic-era caprice: a seemingly spurned lady wins back a long-lost lover by disguising herself as her niece. Whimsical, precious, and spun entirely from sugar, the plot requires a ton of willing disbelief--all the more so given Rogue Theater Company's bare-bones 90-minute production, in which Barrie's stage directions are meant to fill in both scenic and psychological blanks. (They don't.) Still, despite a plot as full of holes as it is of heart, Dan Foss's staging re-creates the famous Barrie charm; Gwendolyn Anne Kelso and Jennifer Milton are especially winning as literal sisters in solidarity. Through 2/5: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 3 PM. Side Studio, 1520 W. Jarvis, 773-973-2150. $8-$12; industry nights Thu.

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