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Theater Thu Sep 06 2012

Bar Talk: A Review of Lie Light

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Kate Healy's Lie Light, one of the offerings at the Chicago Fringe Festival is set in a bar, and it is basically the talk you had at your local watering hole the other night. You know how it goes. Your buddy is still going on about the charming but maladapted gal he ended things with a few months ago after several years dating. He's hashing out his feelings with you at the very gin joint where that gal tends bar, of course, a place he doesn't realize might not be the best spot to bring his new lady. You nod, listen, and give him advice you are certain he won't heed. The whole experience is neither interesting nor enjoyable, but you're willing to tough it out because you care about your buddy's well-being and you can always have a beer or four if his banal bromides become unbearable. The four characters in Lie Light have neither of those things going for them, which makes this hour-long play feel much longer.

There are long yellow ribbons connecting the wrists of Nick (the nice guy) and Matt (the cheating ass) to those of Gracie (the crazy ex.) Occasionally, the actors wrap the ribbons around their wrists if they tell a lie, but this happens infrequently and insignificantly throughout the play. As stated in the program, this action is meant to "watch literal bindings illuminate the emotional bonds we fight for and against." Instead, nothing is illuminated and the audience is left in the dark as to what importance the ribbons have, if any.

The only engaging part of the piece comes at the end, when Gracie has a complete meltdown, and Kate Healy's several-minute long portrayal of a yo-yo into and out of madness is mesmerizing and the reason to see this show, if there is one. There are no performances of Lie Light on the second weekend of the Chicago Fringe Festival, but tickets to other works being offered may be purchased online or by calling 866-441-9962.

 
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Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

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