XIII Pocket’s “Why We Come Here” looks at relationships through a series of sarcastic, sour vignettes that make you wonder if its characters long for love, or just something to do between drinks.
Leah (Laura Rook), a straight woman distrustful of love, and Terra (Caitlin McGlone), a sexually confident lesbian, swap romantic war stories at their favorite watering hole. The performers nail the punchlines but approach each relationship with a repetitive bitterness that wears.
Points for the new company’s decision to debut with original work and to set the site-specific piece in a real bar. Mary’s Attic provides an accurate, albeit overly lavender atmosphere; but Stephen Louis Grush’s staging could use the space more effectively. Playwright Megan McGlone’s sharp ear for funny dialogue can’t hide her flawed story arc; conflict development occurs in odd places and her well-written ending is abrupt. It’s an uneven first try; but keep trying. (Lisa Buscani)
“Why We Come Here,” XIII Pocket, Mary’s Attic, 5400 N. Clark. Through August 28.