The Truth | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

The Truth, OverBored Productions. Maybe if playwright-director Elizabeth Ward had written and directed all the plays in OverBored's trio of one-acts this 90-minute evening wouldn't be such a chore. Like the other plays, Not Seven--Ward's bittersweet comedy about the blossoming friendship between a wittily frank lesbian and an uptight, getting-to-be-uncloseted gay man--is too talky, lacks plot development, and confuses discussing profound topics with actually being profound. But Ward paces the play well and gets an engaging and idiosyncratic performance out of RoiAnn Phillips as the lesbian. The question is whether it's worth wading through the two sketchily written, tentatively performed, and indifferently directed plays that precede it.

Edward J. Underhill's Curse the Darkness--an undeveloped, meandering bedtime conversation in which a yuppie couple discuss superstitions and God--is, to borrow from Shakespeare, a "tedious, brief scene," bearing only the slightest resemblance to a play. Likewise, Let's Spend Money--Michael Burke's series of scenes skewering modern obsessions with sex, money, and death--is little more than a collection of predictable and repetitive vignettes. The play isn't helped by a seemingly underrehearsed cast that doesn't play multiple roles convincingly.

Watching these two plays before Ward's is like going on a date with someone who's brought along two boring friends to look more appealing by comparison. The trick works, but you're still stuck with all three. --Adam Langer

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