What would it entail to produce a self-proclaimed “avant-garde” Beckett play these days? Red Tape Theatre takes a stab at the answer with a stark and resourceful interpretation of “Endgame, ” transforming what seems like a gym on the second floor of a church into an inspired, decomposing kind of crypt, complete with crumbling plaster and dank carpeting. The smart set design alone comprises a lesson in technical theater, and the play’s thematic absurdism extends artfully into mischievous costumes. The acting is hit or miss; Robert L. Oakes makes an inspired Clov, balancing clownishness with humanity, but Will Hare’s Hamm seems determined not to play his part of the paralyzed invalid, shouting almost every line and gesturing madly about him as though fighting against the stasis of the play. However, he remains as stuck in “Endgame” as his parents, who argue pointlessly while waist-deep in sand-filled trashcans, firmly implanted in conventional Beckett territory. (Monica Westin)
At Red Tape Theatre, 459 W. Belmont, (773)329-1088. This production is now closed.