Chicago Theatre Review
“This Is Our Youth” at 773
by Devlyn Camp
Columbia College proves its talent with Liminality Theatre’s production of This Is Our Youth at Stage 773. The entire cast – although only a cast of three – and most of the production staff graduated from the school, and the director himself teaches there. Brian Posen, also the Artistic Director of 773, directs a small play about three twenty-something Manhattan kids. They’re not exactly kids anymore, though, as they must come to face their issues with drug use and family disagreements. Warren (Patrick C. Whalen) is at a crossroads when kicked out of his wealthy father’s home and into the trashy abode of his drug-dealing friend. Dennis (Adam Welsh) is a stoned, stubborn, charge-ahead kind of guy, but only when he feels like it. Welsh enthusiastically sends him on fantastic rants of brilliant insults, ripping through the script with his comedic patter. The dialogue is so real and honest, even including awkward moments of “um” and “ya know”s and also the common “like” about three dozen times. These additions are very honest to how youth speak. The awkward romantic moments between Warren and Jessica (Teagan Walsh-Davis) are less than eloquent and so painfully real, you’ll find yourself thinking “Oh God, I say those things when I hit on a guy. It’s terrible.” It’s delightful.
Youth touches base on topics any down-on-their-luck artist would think about: Will I grow out of who I am? Does any of this really mean anything? As Warren skips around his money problems and drug dealing with Dennis, his comedic relief is brilliant and carries the show through tough issues in his life. He has a few touchy subjects that butt heads with Dennis and his vices to the point when we wonder how his drug “business” becomes less of pleasure and more of a burden. When does a user’s life turn from a nice high to a permanent rock bottom? The best thing to do could be to start over.
As this performance ended, the lights went down and we sat silently, until an old man and his wife in the front row clapped. There must be a message for everyone here.
THIS IS OUR YOUTH
Just two more shows! September 23, 24 at 7:30 PM
Call 773-327-5252 or visit www.stage773.org