Based on stand-up and radio personality Harry Teinowitz’s own experiences in rehab and recovery, this sweet, good-natured piece takes protagonist Harry through his journey into rehab, out of his denial early days when he thinks he just does it can do a few weeks and then go back to his old life, to his dawning awareness that he needs to make deeper changes. Along the way we meet other rehabilitation patients, all at different stages of reunification or not, in the group led by a therapist who has her own story to tell about their addiction.
When Harry hit rehab
until January 30th: Wed-Fri 8 p.m., Sat 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., Sun 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. No show Sat. 25.12. or Sa. 1.1., Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln, 773-404-736, Gewächshaustheater.org, 52 $ 85 $.
Without being particularly cumbersome, depressing, or preaching, the piece touches on some important truths. More importantly, it avoids glossing over things. Harry is never “cured” and at the end of the play it becomes clear that there is still much to be done. Teinowitz wrote this piece with Spike Manton, who he worked with at ESPN, and together they wrote a work that flows like a well-written sitcom but never sacrifices true feelings for a quick laugh. It helps that Director Jackson Gay put together a strong cast, led by two actors best known for television work, Dan Butler (Frasier) and Melissa Gilbert (Little house on the prairie), both of which seem right at home in live cinema without the benefits of microphones and multiple takes. I don’t want to belittle the rest of the company, all of whom put in strong, confident performances that make you forget that the entire Chicago theater was locked down for 18 months.