Recommended **** The first time I saw “This” (it was Theater Wit first production back in 2011), I wrote that it was a sophisticated comedy about a group of 30 somethings. Windy City Playhouse’s production of “This” does have some funny bits, along with all that 30 something angst, so I guess it might be called a dramedy. “This” is well-written and very well acted, so I give it 3 ½ Spotlights.
Jane (Amy Rubenstein), Marrell (Tania Richard) and Alan (Joe Zarrow), friends since college, frequently get together. Marrell’s husband, Tom (Steve O’Connell), who ‘just’ worked maintenance at the college, gets defensive whenever the others start reminiscing.
Tom and Marell are finding that life with a new baby who sleeps only in fifteen minute increments can be rocky. It’s been almost a year since Jane’s husband died, but she hasn’t been able to move on. Alan is a lush who hates his life.
Marrell, a jazz singer, is also a meddler who dispenses ‘advice’ to her friends, especially Jane. Even though she doesn’t have a clue what Jane is feeling, she feels free to tell her what she ‘should’ be doing. One evening, she invites everyone over to meet her new friend, Jean-Pierre (Brian Grey), a French doctor who works for Doctors without Borders. While she claims she invited him as a potential fix-up for Jane, she might have invited him to irritate Tom.
By the way, if you haven’t made it to Windy City Playhouse yet, you are missing out on a special venue. There’s a full service bar and relaxed seating in the atrium, while inside the performance space, cushy easy chairs, handy side tables and plenty of leg room makes this one of my favorite venues in the city. If you text your drink order to the bar, it will be ready at intermission.
“This” runs through August 28th at Windy City Playhouse, 3014 W. Irving Park, Chicago.
Running time is 2 hours, with an intermission.
Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 pm
Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm
Sundays at 3:00 pm.
Tickets range from $25-$55. Street parking is available. FYI (773) 891-8985 or www.windycityplayhouse.com.
To see what others are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-Up and click at “This”