Joel Drake Johnson’s latest at Victory Gardens explores redemption and the long, strange trip guilt takes us on. Thankfully, the destination is as satisfying as the journey.
Ex-con Doug (Kevin Anderson) has no place to go. His sister (Meg Thalken) is absent, so he’s forced to endure his uber-anal-retentive brother-in-law Phillip (Francis Guinan). The two manage to integrate each other into their respective mental prisons.
The piece’s mood shifts can be tough to keep a handle on; both Doug and Phillip act out without pattern. But Guinan and Anderson make up for it with killer rapport and razor-sharp timing; a simple bed-making scene is heartbreakingly hilarious. Bubba Weiler holds his own as the “lying, manic-depressive” son trapped in his own cruel adolescent reality; Sandy Shinner’s direction keeps the pacing and the physicality in check as the characters seek relief from their burdens and the seemingly unobtainable vision of their futures. (Lisa Buscani)
Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 North Lincoln, (773)871-3000. Through August 15.