The Cheats | Steep Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

The Cheats The Short List (Theater) Recommended Image Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Nov. 7 2015

Extol honesty as much as you want, lies are the real wheat paste in the papier-mache pinata of marriage. Hamish Linklater's wry new play provides a case in point. Anne and John start out looking like your typical married couple: A quietly hilarious opening passage has Anne talking from one room of their LA apartment while John sits out on the terrace, oblivious. ("I thought I heard you answering," she says.) And then? They get even more typical, trying to maintain as a stressed-out neighbor takes swipes at their delicately layered calm. Linklater's occasional gestures toward Pinteresque opacity tend to backfire in Joanie Schultz's naturalistic production, expository irrelevancies yielding mystification rather than mystery. But The Cheats is squirmingly astute overall—a commonplace sort of tragedy. —Tony Adler

Price: $10-$35

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