Having made a dirty fortune during the Civil War, old Marcus Hubbard likes to pose as a genteel southern gentleman while keeping his two grown sons on short leashes. His wife Lavinia wanders around like a born-again Lady Macbeth, driven dotty by guilt over the family crimes. Only daughter Regina seems to know how to get her way, manipulating Marcus’s unacknowledged jones for her. The accumulated tensions lead, as they must, to an oedipal explosion. But not before we’ve had a great time. Lillian Hellman’s dark Freudian scenario is leavened by her clear-eyed cynical wit–and William Brown’s unsentimental direction and uniformly sharp cast bring out Hellman’s clear eyes nicely. Penny Slusher’s Lavinia is a highlight. a Through 11/26: Tue 7:30 PM, Wed-Fri 8 PM, Sat 5 and 8 PM, Sun 2:30 and 6 PM, Writers’ Theatre, 325 Tudor Ct., Glencoe, 847-242-6000, $40-$58.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Michael Brosilow.