Nan (Tracey Kaplan) is tired of being her abusive husband Kyle’s (Ryan Hallahan) punching bag. With the help of old friend and fierce queer Simon (Ryan Lanning) and stripper/thespian Sweetheart (Elizabeth Hope Williams), Nan re-enacts scenes from their sour marriage to teach Kyle the error of his ways.
Lauren Gunderson’s meta ode to white-trash enlightenment veers dangerously close to parody on occasion, but the playwright balances the narrative by giving Kyle a chance to tell his story and remind his wife of the good times. Director Cassy Sanders finds the heart of the conflict and stays on top of the pacing. The performers find the dual nature of their characters; Kaplan’s an intelligent survivor as well as a victim and Hallahan’s charm explains their conflicted relationship. Lanning’s stronger than the stereotypical snapping, swiveling fey, and Williams’ ambitious dancer is going places. It’s a cracked tribute to resilience of the spirit. (Lisa Buscani)
Theatre Seven of Chicago at the Greenhouse Theater, 2257 North Lincoln, (773)404-7336. Through July 15.