Jailbait Delivers Nuance Instead Of Shock

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 14, 2010 4:20PM

2010_09_Jailbait_Profiles.jpg By: Rachael Scholten

Profiles, one of Chicago’s longest running storefront theatres, continues to be the epitome of what makes Chicago theatre just so darn great. Too often, tiny theatre companies feel a need to prove themselves - a need that often manifests in the form of cheap tricks to make a play stand out (Shakespeare in the year 3000! Nudity! Blood!) and hide the fact that, actually, the production and actors just aren’t that great.

Not so with Profiles. Although tiny, Profiles continues to churn out plays that are nuanced, thought provoking, timely, and extremely well-acted (ok, with maybe some nudity thrown in. See: Killer Joe). Jailbait, Profile’s current production, is no exception.

About two 15-year-old girls whose worlds collide with two 30-year-old men one night at a Boston nightclub, Jailbait does not, despite the schlocky title, go the SVU route. The male characters are not sexual predators, and the girls are not innocent victims. Rather, it’s a look at what goes on at your typical nightclub with people of any age - but Jailbait just decides to explore what happens when some of those people are 15.

Although the characters are written with fairly little depth, the actors make the most of the material, and deliver nuanced performances, especially the wonderful Eric Burgher as Robert. And despite dragging at times, the play still delivers a satisfying, emotional ending, and forced us to think back to our own teenage years and questions how immature (or not) we were at the time.

Jailbait is at Profiles Theatre, 4147 N. Broadway, August 27 - October 17. Thursdays-Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., Sundays at 7:00 p.m. $30 for Thursdays and $35 for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets available at (773) 549-1815 or through Profiles' website.