The Dastardly Ficus and Other Comedic Tales of Woe and Misery | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The Dastardly Ficus and Other Comedic Tales of Woe and Misery

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THE DASTARDLY FICUS AND OTHER COMEDIC TALES OF WOE AND MISERY, at the Athenaeum Theatre. In Emily Schwartz's bright, funny collection of four one-acts about two unmarried sisters, Carol Enoch's brilliant Geneva Derbyshire is the prim, cool elder sibling to Kara Klein's excitable Jennifer, a woman whose passion and imagination far surpass her reasoning abilities. The sisters, who live together, muddle through fitful periods of harmony and hatred by immersing themselves in childlike play. Jennifer might demand that her sister participate in a burial service for roadkill, or they join forces to fight off banditos besieging their home. When Scott Cupper's Mr. Clock comes a'calling (in the slowest of the show's four stories), their role-playing proves dangerous.

For all the characters' quirkiness, it's easy to relate to them. Have siblings? You'll recognize the Derbyshire sisters' dynamic. Kerstin Broockmann's staging brings out both the physical comedy and the verbal wit as these lonely but loving sisters entertain each other.

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