Rantoul & Die | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Rantoul & Die Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through May 22 2011

No matter how they try, people never change. That's the oft-repeated point of Mark Roberts's 2009 slice-of-white-trash-life play. Sam Shepard built some great plays around the same idea, but Roberts--who's spent years writing for TV (Two and a Half Men, Mike & Molly)--doesn't think dramatically. His characters aren't revealed through actions but through their endless protestations. The toxic trio at the play's center--coarse, disillusioned Debbie; her milksop husband, Rallis; and their semi-menacing neighbor, Gary--spend most of the play declaiming their feelings and outlining their motivations. And, of course, because they're the working poor, they swear and drink constantly. Erin Quigley's production for American Blues Theater rings consistently untrue, even with some of Chicago's finest actors on stage. --Justin Hayford

Price: $20-$50

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