It begins with a lone character’s cry of raw anguish worthy of primal-scream therapy and concludes some seventy-five minutes later with a silent moment between parent and child. In between, very little “happens” in “Strangers Knocking, ” the absorbing new drama in Rogers Park courtesy of the side project: Father and Mother’s unexpected act of lovemaking in two years has been a pitiful mistake; teenage-daughter Sophie is more concerned with connecting with her father than with losing her virginity to her manipulative boyfriend; Father has a midlife crisis and decides to leave Mother. With his slight plot, obscure character backgrounds and motives and elliptical dialogue (there are enough pauses here to make Pinter proud), Chicago playwright Robert Tenges is clearly a product of the ‘less is more’ school of drama. Adam Webster has directed a physically and vocally confident cast to articulate their isolation via those unspoken moments and unsaid things in a production whose expert sense of timing could rival that of a Swiss watch. By the end of the play all of the characters are worse off than before and almost certainly have bleak futures ahead of them. I, however, was left with a surprising moral uplift. If that isn’t the product of great drama, I don’t know what is. (F.O. Almeida)
This production is now closed.