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The Busy World

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Is Hushed Keith Bunin's well-made play is also well-intentioned: it looks at the difficulty of religious belief and asserts that not all churchgoers are gay-hating conservatives, as an Episcopal priest-scholar acts as matchmaker for her son and her male ghost writer. Director Kimberly Senior makes a valiant attempt to bring the characters' absurdly intellectual speeches to life, especially in an affectionate scene between the two young men. But ultimately you suffer your own crisis of belief trying to reconcile the script's dry, tittery Episcopalian banter with its melodramatic exchanges ("You must pray to God!" "I can't pray to God!"). Peggy Roeder, Erik Hellman, and Dennis Grimes (refreshingly quiet as the milquetoast outsider) do their best, but ultimately this remains an airless, pedantic exercise. --Laura Molzahn a Through 10/14: Thu 7:30 PM, Fri 8 PM, Sat 2 and 8 PM, Sun 2 PM, Sat 9/29, 8 PM only, Next Theatre Company, Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes, Evanston, 847-475-1875, ext. 2, $23-$38.

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