New company Ruckus covers both the Jim McGreevey and Mark Foley sex scandals, which forced both men out of the closet into the glaring moral spotlight. It’s a clever if a bit overgrown look at life on the political downlow.
Writer Kristian O’Hare’s narrative is cluttered and tonally confusing; the humor is by turn heart-wrenchingly natural and wider than the Potomac. There’s room for both energies but not the way the piece is currently crafted. Exploring both imbroglios stretches the narrative thin; O’Hare may have to choose between stories to make this tale manageable.
That aside, the ensemble’s game; Freddie Donovan’s rent boy/page is a good sport in platform boots, roller blades and tap shoes; Julie Cowden and Stevie Chaddock bring a painful vulnerability to their wife and daughter roles and Neal Starbird works McGreevey’s white-bread sleaziness. Director Allison Shoemaker drives the pacing, which keeps us from drowning in dishonesty. (Lisa Buscani)
The Ruckus at the Side Project Theatre Company, 1439 West Jarvis, (312)307-8684. Through May 26.