Talk to Me Like the Rain | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Talk to Me Like the Rain

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This trio of early Tennessee Williams one-acts reveals the playwright to be a master documentarian. Each offers a finely observed, almost photographic miniature of a certain kind of down-and-out southerner: the aging traveling salesman, the half-crazy southern belle, the alcoholic outcast huddled in a dirty hotel room. Paradoxically, though, the more naturalistic Williams makes his portraits, the more symbolic and dreamlike they seem. It's as if he'd discovered, a good decade before Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, that there's a devastating spiritual beauty in life's most mundane moments. This observation is underscored by Teri McCaskill's graceful, stripped-down beat production, packed with precise, slightly underplayed performances and staged as if all three stories were taking place simultaneously in the same seedy Mississippi hotel. Through 11/28: Fri-Sat 8:30 PM, Sun 7 PM. Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark, 773-338-2177. $15.

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