Money can’t buy love, but it can buy the security that makes love a bit easier. Dennis Kelly’s latest traces the decline of a relationship in reverse; his dense, unflinching monologues capture a couple’s struggle to survive.
Burdened by credit card debt, David (Peter Moore) leaves teaching to take a stressful job in sales as his wife Jess (Julia Siple) succumbs slowly to the painful world around her. Their hardship devastates her parents (Molly Reynolds and Jason Michael Lindner) and makes them a target for David’s venal ex (Darci Nalepa).
Kelly’s narrative is choppy but brave enough to capture both his characters’ heart and selfish materialism. Director Robin Witt’s staging can be static and awkward but she never loses sight of the piece’s big picture. The ensemble is uniformly excellent, mastering the muscular language and astutely portraying the characters’ affable vulnerability as well as the ugliness the world instills. (Lisa Buscani)
Love and Money, Steep Theatre, 1115 West Berwyn, (866)811-4111. Through February 25.