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The Lady From Dubuque

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The first act of Edward Albee's dark drama reveals a bracing eagerness not to please: Jo is dying, and we taste her angry envy of the abstractly mortal. No one not dying can understand the one who is. But the second act pushes Jo's story into the wings. When the title character, a kind of angel of death, arrives with her bodyguard, only Sam, Jo's faithful husband, realizes the lady is not Jo's "mother." Sam becomes the designated victim, until the Iowa interloper consoles him with the notion of an apocalypse where there's "no time to be afraid." Genevieve Thompson's screamfest staging for Infamous Commonwealth Theatre grounds the characters in their weaknesses but doesn't make you care. Of course, neither does the playwright. --Lawrence Bommer a Through 6/17: Thu-Sat 8:30 PM, Sun 3:30 PM, Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark, 312-458-9780, $10-$15.

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