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Along with The Glass Menagerie and The Odd Couple, Edward Albee's 1959 The Zoo Story has become almost a rite of passage for young American actors. But where most fledgling thespians virtually attack Albee's elegant parable of urban alienation, Daniel Meyer and Michael Shannon stalk it. Their deliberation and patience permit the play to unfold with the inevitability of classic tragedy, for conflict and violence are inevitable when a social man in search of privacy and an isolated man in search of intimacy meet and battle for possession of the same corner of the universe--in this case, a bench in a public park. The bantamweight Meyer and scarecrowlike Shannon make a study in contrasts, not only physically and vocally but in their subtle, intuitive revelations of the contradictions inherent in their characters. Star watchers should take note of the actors, who recall the early Sinise and Malkovich, in this Walking Company production. Cafe Voltaire, 3231 N. Clark, 549-5150. Through March 15: Sundays and Tuesdays, 9 PM. $3.

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