A pair of estranged sisters glare at each other across the dusty lawn of their childhood home in Texas, a cagey reunion that plays out in silent looks and blunt conversation. They are two sides of a coin, fraternal twins with a long, jealous history between them. They press each other’s buttons out of habit. And anyway, when someone gets under your skin—even if she is your twin goddamn sister—why fake at playing nice?
Killer scene, but you have to wade through nearly three hours of “Ten Cent Night” to get there. Stuffed with eccentric characters and interlocking stories, Marisa Wegrzyn’s newest play could use a good-old-fashioned edit. Too many random ideas are never fully developed. (Richard Shavzin is the director.)
The play defies easy plot summary—not necessarily a bad thing—but in this specific case, there’s a wandering, aimless quality to the narrative. The aforementioned sisters are the surviving children of a country-music star who recently blew his head off. Dee (Maura Kidwell) is the repressed one, Roby (Anna Carini) the hellion.
There are other things going on, but Carini is the one to watch—she is just out-of-control enough to make it halfway interesting. (A nuanced Morgan McCabe, as an elegantly aging prostitute—don’t ask—is also quite good.) But the play doesn’t ignite until Roby comes face-to-face with Dee. Everything that comes before feels like too much filler. (Nina Metz)
At Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago, (312)633-0630 or chicagodramatists.org. Thur-Sat 8p, Sun 3p. $25-$35. Through October 26.