Shattered Globe Theatre’s “A Taste of Honey” has lost some of its revolutionary bite since it sprang from the head of 17-year-old grammar school dropout Shelagh Delaney in 1958. Its exploration of pre-marital sex, inter-racial relationships and homosexuality seem almost quaint by our standards. But the piece’s unflinching examination of family disconnection, loneliness and the crushing cycle of poverty are still relevant. Precocious working-class teen Jo (Helen Sadler) chafes against the constraints of life with her self-centered mother Helen (Linda Reiter). Left alone when Helen leaves to marry a younger suitor, Jo is impregnated by her sailor boyfriend. She must create a “family” with gay art student Geoffrey (Kevin Viol). The cast’s Manchester dialects can be inconsistent at times. But Sadler’s portrayal is heartbreakingly vulnerable, Reiter captures Helen’s infuriating selfishness and Viol’s Geoffrey makes us believe there’s hope for all of them. Fortunately, hope is a timeless emotion. (Lisa Buscani)
At the Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln, (773)871-3000. This production is now closed.