Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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In “Another Marriage,” unattractive moments are strengths

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Illustration by Madison Bratley
“Another Marriage” succeeds at painting a portrait of imperfection; its unattractive moments are its strength.

Plagued with reality, Kate Arrington’s playwriting debut at Steppenwolf Theatre Company explores the joy of finding love, the grief of losing it and the things that come after.

“Another Marriage” introduces its two main characters, Sunny (Judy Greer) and Nick (Ian Barford), as freezing cold college students trudging through the Chicago snow. Their hurried banter reveals that they are undergraduates at Northwestern studying English. Nick, who notices Sunny in class, confesses his secret love for her and goofily strips off his clothes to convince her. 

Sunny is an aspirational yet cynical writer, while her eventual husband Nick hails from a family of famous authors. Disaster strikes when Nick attempts to publish Sunny’s book; his affair-turned-marriage with the charmingly ridiculous Macassidy (Caroline Neff) only deepens Sunny’s disdain for him. 

The production is performed on a small stage surrounded by audience members, offering intimate insight into Sunny and Nick’s marriage, divorce and aftermath. The projections, designed by Michael Salvatore Commendatore, craftily propel time forward and also weave Sunny and Nick’s adolescent daughter Jo (Nicole Scimeca) into the storyline. 

Greer and Barford have a powerful dynamic that makes you want to root for them. Barford’s compelling acting makes you believe that he might not be the bad guy. Greer’s sardonic delivery of nearly every line is deeply relatable. Neff’s sparkling performance as Macassidy is laugh-out-loud funny, while also giving so much heart and honesty. 

The scenery, designed by Robert Brill, is clearly set with intention. Macassidy’s beloved My Little Pony toys are strewn throughout the apartment, and despite their strained relationship, Sunny and Macassidy share love for young Jo and distaste for Nick. 

The stellar cast does not shy away from the good, the bad or the ugly. In fact, they lean into it. “Another Marriage” succeeds at painting a portrait of imperfection; its unattractive moments are its strength. 

“Another Marriage” is running through July 30 at Steppenwolf Theatre Company.. 

Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @MulchroneEvelyn

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