WINDY CITY TIMES
||Theater: Fallout and the Playwright and All That Crap
by Rick Reed
This article shared 3471 times since Wed Aug 4, 2004
Playwright: Todd Logan
At: Canamac Productions at Raven Studio, 6157 N. Clark
Phone: (847) 501-2986; $20
Runs through: Aug. 15
These two one-acts by Winnetka resident Todd Logan start off promisingly enough with the first of the two, Fallout, a three-scene piece about a young man, Michael (Daniel Sullivan), a playwright, who is trying to cope with the dissolution of his marriage and his wife's mental illness. We see Michael on what appears to be a first date, but is rather a kind of unbalanced reunion with his wife, Sara (an amazing—and very real—Jennie Moreau), who has moved out to pursue artistic ambitions, and—it seems—to wallow in the darkness of her madness. This scene is sharp, shocking, and achingly poignant. The second scene in the Fallout trilogy is about Michael and his best friend, Bruce (Dev Kennedy, an actor who sometimes confuses volume with intensity). The pair is sitting in the backyard, discussing Michael's ambitions as a playwright and the rocky road such artists follow. This is the weakest of the three, because the playwright does little to make us care about the characters, and its subject matter seems too self-involved to muster much interest for an audience, unless that audience happens to be a playwriting workshop. The third part of Fallout is the best. Michael meets here with his mother (an excellent, on target Caitlin Hart) for dinner. The dynamics between parent and adult child is spot on and hilarious. The dialogue here sings—it's natural, ignites genuine sparks, and manages to be both very specific and completely universal.
Fallout, as a whole, succeeds only somewhat, because its through line, a very compelling thesis on coping with mental illness in a loved one, isn't really carried through adequately (it's pretty much dropped by the second scene, then picked up again in the third, but not with the intensity it warrants). But overall, the piece is entertaining enough and competent work.
The second part of the program, the aptly titled (with the accent on the final word), The Playwright and All That Crap, isn't really even worth considering. If you're tempted to see Fallout, leave at intermission and avoid the self-indulgent mess that is The Playwright and All That Crap. Ostensibly about a playwright who has hit a block and feels he's writing nothing but crap, the piece tries to be funny and fails miserably. It almost seems as though the 70-minute Fallout wasn't enough to fill a bill, so this was tacked on for filler. Hand it to Todd Logan—whose work I have seen before and have liked very much—for the courage to combine 'playwright' and 'crap' in a title. It leaves him wide open for a critic declaiming how the two are all too fitting for his work. And I do. Flush this one, Todd … the sooner the better.
This article shared 3471 times since Wed Aug 4, 2004
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