We can get used to anything, it seems; even the ability to end worlds with mind-boggling weaponry. A Red Orchid’s latest is a cautionary tale about man’s hubris and its terrible cost.
Louis Slotin (Steve Schine) is ready to pack it in at Los Alamos and study life science at the University of Chicago when a lab accident derails his plans forever. The rest of the piece explores his decline in time-warping detail and probes the hypocrisy of nuclear deterrence.
Paul Mullin’s script goes off on a few tangents, but the emotional core is there; Slotin’s could-have-been relationship with his nurse (Anita Deeley) is painful, and his last moments with his beloved father (William Norris) are heartbreaking. The rest of the sharp, multi-cast ensemble supports the story with game flexibility; Guy Massey captures the agony of Slotin’s colleagues as they chart his death and the growing threat to our future. (Lisa Buscani)
A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 North Wells, (312)943-8722, through October 24.