• Liz Lauren
  • Kate Buddeke resorts to sign language in The North Plan

So what do we like this week? Well, we’re ambivalent about the two shows to which we devoted the most ink. Justin Hayford thinks Danai Gurira has been masterful in the past, but her new three-act, three-hour The Convert doesn’t get going until it’s two-thirds done. I developed reservations about The North Plan while seeing it for the second time, in a production by Theater Wit. Still, parts of it remain darkly funny.

Speaking of dark, Laura Molzahn suggests you see the Same Planet Different World 15th-anniversary show, “Fifteen,” which features Joanna Rosenthal’s despairing It Is What It Is. Also good and dark are Theatre Seven’s version of the Naomi Wallace play In the Heart of America and Redtwist’s The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later. Keith Griffith recommends El Stories from the Waltzing Mechanics, and Kerry Reid likes what City Lit has done with one of her favorite Shirley Jackson stories, We Have Always Lived in the Castle.

Less enthusiastically received: Chicago Fusion’s Las Hermanas Padilla, the Agency’s Paradise Lost (not Milton’s but Clifford Odets’s), and Raven Theatre’s staging of Arthur Miller’s The Price. Zac Thompson protests that Sarah Gubbins’s YA play about bullying, FML: How Carson McCullers Saved My Life, isn’t dark enough