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The Real Thing

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You couldn't ask for a sharper cast than Remy Bumppo Theatre Company's to tackle Tom Stoppard's intricate comedy about love and infidelity. Effortlessly precise Nick Sandys spearheads the show as Henry, an emotionally constipated, grammatically unforgiving playwright who steals his friend's wife only to find he's flummoxed by "modern love." The rest of director James Bohnen's cast gives Stoppard's metatheatrical puzzle--scenes from Henry's plays bleed into his life and vice versa--emotional commitment and clear objectives. But Stoppard's relentlessly mannered, terminally clever characters (think Noel Coward sans pathos) turn the tumult of romance into a cold parlor game. Henry's breathtaking monologues about love's all-consuming force merely highlight the lack of genuine passion in the rest of the play. --Justin Hayford a Through 1/7: Wed-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 2:30 PM, Victory Gardens Greenhouse Theater, second-floor main stage, 2257 N. Lincoln, 773-871-3000, $20-$40.

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