The Clean House | Athenaeum Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

The Clean House Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater) Image

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Oct. 25 2014

Sarah Ruhl's 2004 romantic comedy, a Pulitzer Prize runner-up, is the promising inaugural production from Bluebird Arts theater company. The material's mix of whimsy and drama has moments of disconnect as well as charm, but the evolution of its strong female characters is a delight to watch. That's especially so with uptight Lane, played with crackpot elegance by Susan Steinmeyer, and her frumpy sister Virginia, played with brutal honesty and wit by Deborah Hearst. Some silly moments, like housekeeper Matilde's untranslated Portuguese wisecracks, are a breath of fresh humor (as she says, "The perfect joke is somewhere between an angel and a fart"). Other oddball twists, like Lane's husband's expedition to Alaska, feel out of place and a bit too allegorical. —Marissa Oberlander

Price: $30

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