Words With C | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader
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Words With C, A Reasonable Facsimile Theatre Company, at the Cornservatory. Propinquity often further isolates individuals leery of intimate entanglements--but they can be liberated by the prospect of imminent separation. Kate and Ben have been high-rise neighbors for years, but only when she's about to relocate to California does he violate their tacit boundaries to report that an upstairs tenant has just jumped from his window.

He hasn't, of course. Nor, later in the play, does Kate accidentally lock herself out of her apartment. But these pretexts enable Kate and Ben to pass the night squabbling, confessing, and generally lamenting the lot of those not yet 30 who fear that their lives are already over. Their despair is aggravated by the people around them: Ben's infantile significant other and her she-wolf chum and Kate's coterie of narcissistic, fetishistic, paranoid, or xenophilic suitors. Then there are the married couples who resemble Siamese twins and the hard-drinking reprobates short on philosophical wisdom.

The text of Words With C might sometimes read as dueling monologues rather than dialogue, but Cathleen Ann as Kate and Jason Borkowski as Ben lend cogency to Aimee LaBrie and Steven Simoncic's script. And when the gravity grows too lugubrious, comic relief is provided by the aforementioned friends and acquaintances, as jolly a chorus of tormentors as one might wish--or not.

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