The Sum of Her Parts | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The Sum of Her Parts

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The Side Project's midwest premiere of M.R. Fife's play is certainly dramatic--in a soap opera kind of way. A family has gathered for the matriarch's funeral, which provokes the usual explosion of secrets and rivalries. The play's hook, though, is breast cancer, used mercilessly throughout the plot. Fife is not fond of nuance--he even gives the three daughters stock labels they pin on themselves: the martyr, the bitch, and the baby. Under Christopher J. Berens's direction, the husbands are slightly more rounded but still barely get beyond saintliness. The cast do what they can with their limited roles, though only Kay Schmitt, playing the matriarch's ghost, manages to break through the stagy dialogue to become real. Through 10/10: Thu-Sat 8 PM; Sun 3 PM. North Lakeside Cultural Center, 6219 N. Sheridan, 773-973-2150. $15.

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