The Sunset Limited | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The Sunset Limited


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Actors Austin Pendleton and Freeman Coffey lend intellectual and emotional depth to this engaging, nuanced world premiere of novelist Cormac McCarthy's two-man play. They're so good they almost compensate for the script's inertia and racial stereotyping, as an uneducated, plain-talking "old country nigger" rescues a white New York intellectual from suicide, then spends 135 minutes trying to lead him to Jesus. McCarthy's characters speak mostly prose rather than dialogue, and since only the white character has any potential for change, his story is the whole story. Still, director Sheldon Patinkin gives this static situation momentum, and Scott Neale's cramped, grungy set aptly pins both men into an unforgiving corner. Everything satisfies but the narrative. Through 6/25: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 and 7 PM, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Merle Reskin Garage Theatre, 1624 N. Halsted, 312-335-1650, $15.

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