Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

The Bloody Romantic

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This perversely sophisticated romantic farce can get physical to the point of knock-down, drag-out raunchiness yet ultimately depends on verbal wit and social observation to succeed. It concerns Vince, who cheats on his gay lover, Frank, with Frank's ex-wife, Gloria. Frank doesn't catch the hints of infidelity because he's fucking his boss, Ben. Authors Greg Beam and Eric Poulin don't discriminate among levels of humor. They're as comfortable with chlamydia jokes as with metrosexual satire. Though the Broken Compass production has its shortcomings, the ensemble's strong. Beam's insouciance as Vince makes a virtue of amorality, and Katlyn Carlson's Gloria is sexily narcissistic. But James Errico is the best/worst of all as Ben, the compleat predator. Watching him finesse a possible harassment suit is marvelous. a Through 8/20: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 7 PM, Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago, 773-772-0712, $10-$15.

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