Closer
Signal Theater

" Critic's Pick - "Ronan Marra's sleek, well-paced production packs in enough wit to outshine Marber's sly but often frustrating text. And this solid cast, too, knows dramatic hooks are sometimes best served with a wink." Time Out Chicago


11/19/06 - 12/17/06

Thu-sat 8p; Sun 3p


"How do your strangers feel about you stealing their lives? Ask wanna-be writer Dan (Snook) or photographer Anna's (Charuhas) subjects in their first encounter. Like most of the lines in Marber's oft-produced tragicomedy, this one is laced with implications about art and love (they're both fake, more detrimental than therapeutic), so much so that the effect is counterproductive. After hearing each of the play's four selfish Londoners babble on about the Big L, it is distancing. Without any authentic moments (only speeches), the real pain and joy of love and uninhibited sex are noticeably absent. That's the bad news. The good news is that this sleek, well-paced production packs in enough wit to outshine Marber's sly but often frustrating text. Things kick off when Dan meets Alice (Stackpoole), a cutsie stripper, after she'd almost been mowed over by a truck. Then Larry (Bruce), a horny doctor, meets Anna at the aquarium with the impression that she's the slut he was chatting with online the night before. Add some more chancy happenings and presto: bedhopping and misery. But where Mike Nichols's glib 2004 film version is relentlessly dramatic; even the IM scene between Larry and Dan, which screams for a comic touch, is portentous; director Marra varies tones enough to keep us engaged. For all the weepiness, we're still treated to scenes like Alice's striptease, complemented by blasting glam rock and pulsing with chic, retro lighting. And this solid cast, too, knows that dramatic hooks are sometimes best served with a wink" Tim Lowery, TimeOut Chicago 11/30/06

Author
Patrick Marber

Director
Ronan Marra

Performers
"Georgann Charuhas, Brandon Bruce and Aaron Snook with Tammy Stackpoole

Production
Set: Melania Lancy, costumes: Laura M. Dana, lights: Amanda Clegg Lyon, sound: ensemble member Anthony Ingram, projections: Julie E. Ballard, props: Sarah Elizabeth M. & Devon MacGregor, dialects: Phil Timberlake, stage manager: ensemble member Stephanie Ehemann

Tags: Theater, American, 2006