The Boys Next Door | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The Boys Next Door

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The four mentally disabled men at the heart of Tom Griffin's 1986 play are portrayed as human and funny in this Provision Theater production, but Lou Contey's cheery direction only reveals how poorly structured the work is. Is it a screwball comedy? A political diatribe? A treatise on the dismal treatment of the disabled by the government and wider society? It's clearly not a story about these men from their own perspective. Instead it's about how their social worker, Jack (an affable Tim Gregory), sees them--as people who are stuck in time, who never move on, whose lives and crises are always the same. They deserve better. Through 3/5: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 2:30 PM, Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 W. Belmont, 773-327-5252, $25, industry nights Thu.

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