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"Riff Raff" ★★★
A botched drug deal brings three lowlifes together in an abandoned building to figure out their next move in Laurence Fishburne's ode to street-level criminality and the poetically profane. Fishburne directed and starred in the play when it debuted in New York in 1995, but its tense, blackly comic, in-your-face storytelling has Chicago storefront theater written all over it. This is the type of play that once defined the local scene, and it is precisely the sort of thing that Mary-Arrchie does so well. "There will be gunshots, and there's no intermission," director Richard Cotovsky announced before the show, and depending on your point of view, that is either a very good sign or your cue to seek entertainment elsewhere.
- NINA METZ
Through Oct. 20 at Mary-Arrchie Theatre at Angel Island, 735 W. Sheridan Road; $18-$22 at 773-871-0442 or maryarrchie.com
October 3, 2011