Something important is happening, but I couldn’t tell you exactly what. Or maybe it’s already happened, or just not going to happen. Despite hopes to the contrary, this tremendously significant, potentially devastating event is not Steppenwolf’s world premiere of Don DeLillo’s new play, “Love-Lies-Bleeding.” Of course there’s something happening. There’s an artist who’s dying. Say he’s already dead, kind of: a series of massive cerebral hematomas have left him in what the professionals call a permanent vegetative state. There are actors, very good actors, presenting a story full of meaning to the audience. There’s the image of a son and an ex-wife killing a man, or helping him to die, and it’s very hard to say whether this is an act of mercy or one of revenge. The man is a very significant artist, like Don DeLillo, except that he works with stone and paint, not language, which is destined to trip you up no matter how intelligently you try to grapple with it. This is a play with some very witty moments. The man’s son is described as trying to be like someone who’s like himself. I had trouble feeling much of anything, except admiration for Larry Kucharik who’s virtually immobile on stage for most of the play. And for Martha Lavey, who’s as acidly, neurotically brilliant as Judy Davis. And sometimes I could sort of see a new kind of theater flickering around the edges. But it’s going to take a lot of viewings to get there, friends. (John Beer)
This production is now closed.