Six Degrees of Separation | Chopin Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Six Degrees of Separation Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 20 2008

John Guare's 1990 based-on-fact drama, about a well-spoken young black man who cons well-heeled white Manhattan liberals into believing he's Sidney Poitier's son, feels worn around the edges. For one thing, in our age of Google, someone would have discovered the truth behind "Paul Poitier" far sooner. Ronan Marra's staging for Signal Ensemble Theatre has a handle on Guare's wit, but the darker aspects of the story don't gel. The ensemble sometimes overplay the stereotypes (particularly with regard to the liberal's bratty kids), and Susie Griffith doesn't completely unpeel the loneliness and vulnerability in Ouisa, the socialite who develops sympathy for Paul. But Jon Steinhagen as Ouisa's nervous, art-dealing husband, and Bryson Engelen as Paul, reveal layers of self-doubt amid the shell game. --Kerry Reid

Price: $15-$20

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