Strangers Knocking | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Strangers Knocking

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Robert Tenges's new play addresses a touchy issue: what happens when a father and his daughter start experiencing their love as erotic attraction? Tenges, director Adam Webster, and an incredible cast explore the subject with grace and empathy. The scenes between the father (Michael Nowak), mother (Kirsten D'Aurelio), and teenage daughter (Bethany O'Grady) are startlingly true, and the ensemble grounds even the most unlikely, lyrical dialogue in the tense realities of family life. The scenes between the daughter and her boyfriend (Ben Alvey) paint a strong portrait of teen sexuality. But when Tenges strays from these dynamics into unnecessary scenes between the family members and other characters--an arrogant boss, a boozy grandmother--he flattens the action. Worse, the play ends suddenly, as if the playwright had lost his nerve, and winds up feeling like half a play. Through 5/29: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 and 7 PM. Side Studio, 1520 W. Jarvis, 773-973-2150. $12-$15; two for one Thu.

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