First performed in 1977, this David Mamet play appeared at about the same time as American Buffalo. But it’s slight by comparison: softer, more conventional, more contrived–the work of an artist not yet ready not to sound like his contemporaries. Still, the tale of a young couple’s troubled holiday is unmistakably Mamet-ian in its view of romance as a series of bluffs executed by amateurs so rank they may not know they’re bluffing. Directing for EP Theater, Jason Ewers makes rookie mistakes that keep the audience from seeing and hearing his actors, much less connecting with them. The big moment of truth is blocked in every sense of the word, with one performer facing upstage and the other obscured by a porch railing. Through 11/13: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM. Athenaeum Theatre, first-floor studio theater, 2936 N. Southport, 312-902-1500. $10-$15.