Actor Ryan Colwell and playwright Alexander Holt, the brains behind the brand-new Narcissists ensemble, team up for this impressive meditation on the psychology of addiction. Colwell stretches out mightily in his ten-character, ten-monologue performance, delivering everything a casting agent might expect while avoiding technique for technique’s sake. Holt’s articulation of the algebra of need is accomplished and Selby-esque, nailing old, aching, abstract truths to the writhing viscera of mortal existence. Once or twice both artists slip from portraiture to caricature, and their collection of troubled souls is a little more rooted in the demimonde than it has to be, blunting some potentially universal observations. But on the whole this is a formidable debut from a pair that bears watching. Through 5/28: Thu-Sat 8 PM. The shows 5/19-5/28 also feature a “short original work” from sketch group New Batch of Genes. Breadline Theatre Laboratory, 1801 W. Byron, 312-409-3910. $10-$15.