Tuesday October 17th 2017

“Dark Play or Stories For Boys”

Somewhat Recommended** There is an old saying that “Boys will be boys” and in the very dark play written by Carlos Murillo ( based on an actual event),”Dark Play or Stories For Boys”, now onstage at Collaboraction’s new home at The Flat Iron Arts Building in Bucktown, we are exposed to a young man’s journey into the world of the Internet through social media. Our main character, Nick ( a powerful performance by Clancy McCartney) has created a false identity for the Internet, a game of sorts that takes on its own life as the two worlds ( the real and the fictional) collide. One might call this a “coming of age” story, but with an added twist of the Internet and how one’s secret being can lead to paths unforeseen, emotional and filled with feelings that can be life changing.

Directed by Anthony Moseley in this very intimate space with a sparse set, there is a great amount of intensity as Nick takes on a female persona in order to “play a game” with Adam ( deftly handled by Aaron Kirby) who on his profile has said that he “wants to fall in love with a woman”. While they continue to “chat”, Adam falls in love with this woman, Rachel ( played with just the right touch by the sultry Olivia Dustman),it appears that Nick’s feelings become more than that of a “player”.

I do not want to give away the story in this well acted production, but understand that there is a lot of sexual tension in this story. It opens with Nick and Molly ( also played by Ms Dustman) on a bed, in their undergarments. In fact, when we enter the theater, that is what we find. They have just had sex and now, through flashback’s Nick tells us his story. The other two actors in this production, the ensemble, are Jane deLaubenfels as the females( her SVU cop is hysterical, again Online) and Sorin Brouwers as the Males ( he does a great job as another make believe character, the step-father of Nick and his sister/also Online)Yes, Nick, in order to keep his “story” going , must create several other characters so he doesn’t lose his relationship with Adam.

This is not a play for all audiences as it does deal with sexual situations and has some language that will not appeal to all audiences. However, the acting is strong as is the direction and in this very tiny space, this company does create some chilling effects; sound by Stephen Ptacek,Lighting by Michael Reed and an interesting set designed by Joe Schermoly. This is a very small theater space where the first row of audience members may feel that they can reach out and touch each of the actors and for the 90 minutes of action, you will find yourself caught into the words of Murillo.

“Dark Play or Stories For Boys” will continue at Collaboraction located at 1579 N. Milwaukee Avenue ( at North and Damen) through February 26th with performances Thursdays-Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m.

There will be Monday performances on January 30th, February 6th,13th and 20th at 8 P.M. and the closing performance on Sunday the 26th will be at 3 P.M.

Tickets range from $15-$25 ( a bargain for live theater) and can be purchased by calling 312-226-9633 or visiting www.collaboraction.org


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