“Do you think he’s weird?” a woman asks her friend as they read aloud overwrought love letters from a man who sat across from her on a bus. “No,” her friend replies. “Articulate.” Hurt McDermott’s sharp, wry piece about fiction and love is indeed extremely eloquent and lucid, but it could have used a little more weirdness. What begins as an extremely intriguing and ambivalent exchange of letters and stories ends with a somewhat anticlimactic and trite conclusion. Along the way, however, perfectly paced comedy and real revelation cause winces of recognition in the audience at the absurdity of romantic pursuit and the stories we tell ourselves in order to buy into the concept of romantic love itself. Vigorous, sparkling acting keeps pace with the writing, and the use of space is very smart (the performance itself is held on the third floor of a coffee shop). (Monica Westin)
At Noble Tree Coffee and Tea, 2444 N. Clark, Chicago, (773)248-1500. Mon & Wed, 7pm. $10.
At Fausto’s Italian Kitchen, 16 S. Evergreen, Arlington Hts, (847)255-9049. Tues & Thurs, 7pm. $10.