Sweet Analytics | Berry Memorial United Methodist Church | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Sweet Analytics The Short List (Theater) Image Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Nov. 20 2016

Given a recent report from the American Association of University Women claiming that, under current conditions, the gender pay gap won't close until 2152, the premise of Hayes Borkowski's play isn't all that farfetched. Assigned to find data proving that equality is a mere 50 years down the road, frustrated young researcher Ona makes a Faustian bargain: she'll sell the devil her soul in exchange for the chance to "move the needle" on women's rights. Borkowski's dialogue is often witty, her characters' vices include such interesting oddities as aspirin smoking, and her satiric vision can be sharp—Ona's satanic handlers advance her agenda by turning her into a cultural influencer, dropped into all the right rooms. But too much is lost in Joshua Ellison's staging for Tympanic Theatre. The space itself is acoustically challenged, swallowing not only lines but focus. Worse, Ellison never makes sufficient sense of Ona's odyssey. What should be a clean, clear, Swiftian narrative comes across as just a bunch of things happening. —Tony Adler

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