Reckless, Sense of Urgency Productions, at the Athenaeum Theatre. Craig Lucas’s mean-spirited picaresque comedy, about a hapless wife on the run who meets various eccentrics, is packed with improbable plot twists and unbelievable characters. Even under optimal conditions–good director, strong cast, large budget, well-organized space–it’s a hard play to make work. Steppenwolf attempted it in 1990 with only mixed results.

But when Reckless is directed, as it is here, by a person working with limited resources and actors of limited range, Lucas’s deeply flawed play comes apart at the seams. As directed by Nora Herold, Amy Kasper in the lead role of Rachel is utterly unconvincing at both facets of the wife’s character: the likable fool adrift in a cruel world and the annoying spouse whose compulsive chatter incites her husband to hire a hit man. Andrew Carter communicates none of the anguish boiling beneath the husband’s calm exterior, and Jon Cofield is way too bland and boring as the odd Good Samaritan who comes to Rachel’s rescue–and lives to regret his kindness. In fact no one in this ensemble, despite the company’s name, summons up the sense of urgency the play demands.