Ever looked at your spouse or partner and wonder if you’ve made a mistake? Is everything your life’s built around based on a bad decision? Greg Kalleres’ “A Beautiful Spell” attempts to stare down these questions, with mixed results.
It’s a premise with potential. Franny (Maggie Corbett) wakes husband Jim (Eric Burgher) with the realization that she no longer loves him; the two spend the early morning hours trying to convince each other their love still survives. They backtrack, role-play (hilariously), and take frantic inventory of their successes.
But Kalleres’ excellent ear for dialogue can’t compensate for the piece’s wildly vacillating tones, ranging unevenly from farce to homicide. Burgher has the chops for the challenge; his sly comedic timing adapts easily to the script’s shifts. But Corbett’s head cheerleader energy feels out of place beyond the comedy; she doesn’t match Burgher’s layers. It’s an interesting conflict with no satisfactory resolution. (Lisa Buscani)
At The Royal George Gallery Theatre, 1641 North Halsted, (312)988-9000. Through August 7.