Three Sisters, Not By Chekhov | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Three Sisters, Not By Chekhov

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Three Sisters, Not by Chekhov, Organic Theater Company Greenhouse, Lab Theater

Eldest sister Matilda is a hypochondriacal yuppie, middle sister Carmen is a peripatetic artist, and youngest sister Tia is a self-obsessed health nut. All three have moved back to the family homestead--Matilda to enroll in law school, Carmen to rediscover her muse, and Tia to assert her independence from her doting husband. Parents Grace and Cliff, who's recently retired from his dental practice, had been hoping to enjoy some private time together. But before you can say "sitcom," Matilda is demanding absolute quiet while she studies, Carmen has gone into hibernation, and Tia is in therapy with a social worker hiding in the foyer closet. Oh yes, and grandma's being expelled from the nursing home for misbehaving, and Cliff's being sued for malpractice by a former patient...

Caryn Bark--author of the long-running Diary of a Skokie Girl--writing in collaboration with Jeff Steinberg has assembled a generic domestic comedy complete with numerous telephone monologues, crises announced in speech so swift and shrill as to be unintelligible, and a big, warm group-hug happy ending (topped by a quick one-liner that starts the whole cycle over again). Toni Bark directs an all-stops-out production featuring enthusiastic young thespians in fashionable Gap garb (except for poor Cliff, who seems to have only one shirt). Though not likely to replace Come Blow Your Horn--or Beau Jest, for that matter--Three Sisters, Not by Chekhov is still worthy of entry on the roster of summer-fluff standbys.

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