Hard times don’t just mean no money; they mean the hardscrabble headspace that a bad economy brings. Naomi Wallace examines the long-ranging effects of an empty wallet in the Eclipse Theatre’s latest, the second of three productions devoted to Wallace’s work.
Pace (Marissa Cowsill) and Dalton (Matt Farabee) languish in a Depression-era small town; they take solace at the town’s train trestle, plotting a hazardous race against the train. Meanwhile, Dalton’s parents Gin (Cindy Marker) and Dray (Kevin Scott) struggle with their dying marriage.
Wallace’s poetry resonates but the narrative trips over the construction. That’s alright; the performers pull the audience through. Cowsill’s Pace is so abruptly honest and intelligent you question her sanity; Farabee’s absolutely believable as the “good boy” overwhelmed by Pace’s single-mindedness. Marker and Scott impress as a loving couple reviving their relationship. Director Jonathan Berry’s staging and pacing keeps a hard-luck tale vibrant and alive. (Lisa Buscani)
At The Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 North Lincoln, (773)404-7336. Through September 4.