The Two-Character Play | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The Two-Character Play

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This late, rarely performed Tennessee Williams play has been compared to Beckett and Pinter--and I'd add Sartre. But it inverts the claustrophobic gravity of these writers' minimalist scenarios, which, however blank, possess a concrete, crushing reality. The existential terror of The Two-Character Play is defined by lightness, to use Kundera's term: insubstantiality, transparence, oblivion. Dissociative-disorder duo Clare and Felice have none of the dingy, dour majesty of Didi and Gogo; instead they flounder delicately, describing chaotic arabesques, desperately pretending to be. In the gently trembling hands of director Ellie Heyman and principals Tere Parkes and Jason Fleitz, this flawed masterpiece achieves a skewed perfection, especially in EL2 Stage Work's seriocomic navigation of its blurry play within a play. Through 12/18: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 7 PM, Viaduct Theater, 3111 N. Western, 773-665-2394, $22.

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