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

When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through Nov. 18 2012

Sophisticated if sometimes too talky, this comic drama concerns the backroom wheeling and dealing involved in choosing a candidate to replace a dying incumbent. Chicago playwright Paul Amandes has done his research: his characters (street-smart campaign manager, book-smart political scientist, naive but eager intern) are believable, and so are their machinations. But none of it feels compelling. Despite a number of strong, graceful performances—most notably Annie Slivinski's as a sweet-talking steel magnolia—Marti Lyons's world premiere production lacks what the politicos used to call a fire in the belly. I never sensed the urgency the characters must certainly be feeling as they try to put together a ticket in less than 24 hours. —Jack Helbig

Price: $15

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