By Marisa Wegrzyn
Directed by Brian Golden
Produced by Theatre Seven of Chicago
At the Greenhouse Theater
I didn’t see the initial 2007 run of Marisa Wegrzyn’s terrific one-act, Diversey Harbor. I heard it was excellent so I made sure I caught Theatre Seven of Chicago’s remount now playing at the Greenhouse Theater. It is a little gem—one of those 55 minute works that grabs you and holds you throughout. Marisa Wegrzyn is a playwright/storyteller with immense talent. She deftly captures the voice of the 20somethings who migrate to Chicago from Iowa, Michigan or Wisconsin upon graduating from college.
“Diversey Harbor is the quintessential play about being a Chicagoan in your twenties,” said director Brian Golden. “It speaks with clarity to the fears and joys of living in this city, at this moment in time.” Let me add that it is a chilling mystery told by four excellent storytellers in a series of interlocking monologues.
Charlie Olson is James—a dog walker and lonely soul who uses dogs to lure women. Brian Stojak plays Dennis—a vain egotist womanizer; Robin Kacyn—is Grace the roommate who desires to be a street performer. Tracey Kaplan is Stephanie—a bartender and girlfriend of James. When James witnesses a 20something getting mugged, a chain of events unfolds that involves all four storytellers culminating with a body floating in Diversey Harbor. The fears, the loneliness, and the hope and dreams of the single set Chicagoans comes alive in this engaging, often bluntly funny, and totally honest story. Wegrzyn knows how to spin a yarn utilizing the voices of and idiosyncrasy and loneliness of her generation. Her knowledge of Lakeview shows.
Diversey Harbor boasts truthful and emotional performances that gives realism, suspense and mystery to the work. The acting and writing are superb. Diversey Harbor is little marvel that speaks to all of us who love The Windy City—no matter how old we are or how much we fear it.
Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast
Date Reviewed: April 7, 2009
At the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL call 773-404-7336,Tickets $12 – $18, Thursdays thru Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 3 pm, running time is 55 minutes without intermission.