Ruined Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through May 25 2014

It takes guts to stage Lynn Nottage's Pulitzer Prize winner in Chicago, where it premiered six years ago. The original Goodman Theatre production expressed the play's extraordinary power in extraordinary ways, and any new version has got to compete with the memory of that. Eclipse Theatre Company deserves points, then, not just for taking on the challenge of Nottage's drama about Congolese women caught up in the horrors of their country's deadly chaos, but for doing so in a relatively intimate black-box space. Yet it turns out that intimacy works against Ruined here. Director Aaron Todd Douglas and designer Kevin Hagan haven't found a way to deal effectively with multiple, separate interactions occurring simultaneously in a confined area, so I spent a lot of time with my focus divided. Speaking of focus, Krystal Mosley lacks the dynamism she needs to draw any as Sophie, the traumatized but allegedly spirited young woman at the center of the story. On the other hand, Taylar and Andre Teamer share a nice, prickly rapport as two people trying to cope with the possibility of love in the ruins. —Tony Adler

Price: $28

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