Exploring the battlefield of three ambiguously platonic relationships against a constant backdrop of war and violence (dangerous neighborhoods, IRA bombings, WWI recollections), Steep Theatre’s production of David Eldridge’s “Under the Blue Sky” is heartbreaking and sometimes painful to watch, but nothing short of captivating throughout. In three roughly thirty-minute sections that move quickly through the tight quarters of Scott Davis’ superb kitchen, bedroom and backyard sets, each of these three duos are given the chance to torment and emotionally deconstruct each other, with one notably uplifting exception.
Director Brad Akin directs an extremely talented cast with care and precision. As Helen, Caroline Neff is raw and emotionally exposed to her vacuously hurtful counterpart Nick (Michael Salinas). Alex Gillmor’s subtly quiet intensity as the reserved Graham enhances Julia Siple’s vicious and tempestuous Michelle. Jim Poole and Melissa Riemer as Robert and Anne are tender and honest without ever being less than gripping. (Zach Freeman)
At Steep Theatre, 1115 West Berwyn, (866)811-4111. Through November 19.