On a rainy night, Bobby (Darrell Cox) and his black-sheep-turned-academic sister Betty (Natasha Lowe) pack up a lakeside cottage. Bobby’s looking for a fight; he finds it when he pokes around Betty’s personal life. It’s a prickly bit of back and forth, as both characters come to terms with their relationship and themselves.
Cox captures the bitterness and longing his character harbors for his sister. He’s a scruffy, no-bullshit loser who has no patience for Betty’s wily ways and gives her no quarter. Unfortunately, Lowe doesn’t display the bad-girl quality that explains Betty’s hold over her brother.
Playwright Neil LaBute’s characters can’t move past who they once were; his monologues are luminous even if his ending is predictable. Director Joe Jahraus judiciously controls the back and forth; Thad Hallstein’s set depicts just the right amount of shabby cabin chic. The whole show feels like a tiring escape. (Lisa Buscani)
Profiles Theatre, 4139 North Broadway, (773)549-1815. Through June 3.