The best plays break down easily to the basics: characters, conflict and the truth. the side project’s site-specific latest is light on frills, but heavy on what’s important: the basics.
Artistic director Adam Webster’s creative tribute to Jarvis Square, the group’s home for the last ten years, “Cut to the Quick” places six short plays in local storefronts. Sometimes it works; “Ceremony” uses Charmer’s coffee shop effectively, detailing the efforts of newly minted stepbrothers Cory (baby-faced Ty Baumann) and James (a frat-a-licious yet truly creepy Dillon Kelleher) to bond.
But some settings force both performers and audience to work hard. In “Fixtures,” set in Elite Auto Repair, some of Brett Neveu’s muscular dialogue is lost as the reliably excellent John Henry Roberts battles with Red and Purple Line trains, capturing his character’s offbeat proposal to a failed businessman (a perplexed, poignant Jason Michael Lindner). It’s a flawed but novel approach to neighborhood outreach. (Lisa Buscani)
“Cut to the Quick: On Location,” at the side project, 1439 West Jarvis and other locations, (773)973-2150. Through August 17.