Yet another theater company has opened in Chicago. But if all of Route 66 Theatre Company’s work is as compelling as “On an Average Day, ” audiences are in for a wild ride.
Buttoned-down, ultra-functioning Jack (Stef Tovar) comes back to check on Robert (Johnny Clark), his mentally unstable, just-barely-there younger brother, who lives in squalor at their childhood home. With equal doses humor and pathos, the plot’s onion layers peel back to reveal just how much trouble both men are in.
John Kolvenbach’s tragic, hopeful script is full of Mametesque rhythms and relationships. Clark’s vulnerability is heartbreaking; his character’s man-child never had a chance. Tovar poignantly captures Jack’s deceptive strength, giving us a hard look at a man on the edge. Alternating between bonding beers and fisticuffs, the two successfully explore the bind of family ties, painting a very human portrait of brotherly love. Welcome to Chicago, Route 66. (Lisa Buscani)
At The Victory Gardens Greenhose, 2257 N. Lincoln, (773)871-3000. Through September 6.