The Viable Theater Company’s “The Tearful Assassin” has all the snappy perversion of a “Law and Order: SVU” episode. But weak performances and missteps in the script keep the show from being Dick Wolfe-worthy.
A young girl (Caitlin Emmons) is abducted from her home; her parents and two detectives deal with the fallout. Her controlling mother (Mary Marshal) begins to spin the girl’s disappearance into a book deal. Soon, the investigation succumbs to the book’s success. Vincent Truman’s detective has a smart-ass naturalism that’s fun to watch; Emmons’ terror and weary betrayal is truly believable. Marshal’s energy is fine but her shrill anger is too much too soon for too long.
Truman’s dialogue is authentic, but his plot has some glaring errors; allowing characters to suddenly take a bow mid-show and leave the stage is a jarring, ineffective decision. This show deserves better than choices like that. (Lisa Buscani)
At Gorilla Tango Theater, 1919 N. Milwaukee, (773 )598-4549, through August 24.