A fresh and piercing look at the fallout after the idealization of love meets the reality of human pettiness and insecurity. Unfortunately, the deft story, which insightfully weaves together the sexual and romantic exploits of a truly damaged family (its overt concern with polyamory thankfully relates and extends to the ins and outs of everyday romance), gets pulled irrevocably into the world of soap opera after almost two and a half hours of dramatic scenes that sometimes seem farcical; and in the final scenes, when the show suddenly crosses the Rubicon into melodrama, it’s hard to feel any emotional investment. Simultaneously, a palpable anxiety that the play be “smart” results in far too many intellectual and literary references, betraying a lack of confidence that the story itself provides enough interest to carry the production. The playwright, Tony Fiorentino, is both talented and quite young, and it’s easy to imagine his work developing the tightness and understatement that would have made “All My Love” an exemplary family drama—keep your eye on his work. Technically slick and visually satisfying, it’s finally the gusto and command of the acting that saves this show from much of its pretension and tedium. (Monica Westin)
At the Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 W. Belmont, (773)327-5252, or ticketmaster.com, through May 10. $18-$25.