Port Authority
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★★★ "Fight or go with the flow. At one point in 'Port Authority,' Conor McPherson's typically eloquent and wholly disquieting exploration of three generations of modern Irish manhood, the oldest of the men addressing us pretty much boils his life down to that deep question. Characters invariably stare down death in McPherson's plays. They also spin yarns, which, depending on the story or the way it is told, could be construed as a fight or a capitulation to life's tough trajectory. McPherson also is very much a poet of regret.You would not call "Port Authority" a major McPherson work. The piece, first produced in Dublin in 2001 although (to the best of my knowledge) not previously produced professionally in Chicago, is composed of three modestly interlaced monologues, delivered directly to the audience by characters unaware of each other. There is much recounting of experiences in the past tense. The show is not traditionally dramatic. It requires careful attention. The piece, which is a tad smooth and overarticulate, could use more edge and bite, which would help infuse the show with higher stakes. All three of these men become familiar with the difficulty of holding it together, but only John Hoogenakker, whose performance is unstinting, really shows us the whites of his eyes, despite us being up close and personal." -Chris Jones