Stage Two Theatre.
Gary Scott Saipe's play, currently running at Waukegan's Stage Two Theatre, begins with a fascinating look at the dynamics of multimillion-dollar deal making--territory that Saipe, a real estate lawyer with an office in the Loop, clearly knows well. His script communicates with remarkable grace the understated hysteria of postmodern business, with all its complicated and expensive rituals.
Too soon, however, the deal is interrupted by a pair of aliens bringing the bad news that the earth is redundant and may be destroyed. And the pointed story about deal making in America quickly devolves into a Star Trek episode: three intelligent but touchy people work hard to solve an alien crossword puzzle that will decide the fate of the world.
Of course interpersonal relationships get in the way. The developer, fairly well played by Saipe himself, is hotheaded and egotistical but not particularly smart. His much-abused lawyer is smart but resentful that he's getting paid nothing for his world-saving feats. And a lot of time is wasted talking about the meaning of life. None of this is as engrossing as the opening moments of the play, when we really cared about the characters and the fate of their deal.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Photo/Forrest Muschewske.