A darkly comic fable of brotherly love and family identity and the way we are defined by history. Lincoln and Booth are two brothers whose names were given to them as a joke, foretelling a lifetime of sibling rivalry and resentment. Haunted by the past, the brothers are forced to confront the shattering reality of their future.
"...Suzan Lori-Parks’ 2001 Pulitzer Prize-winning two-hander play, Topdog/Underdog, now in an excellent new production by Invictus Theatre at the Windy City Playhouse, is about just such a three-card monte dealer and his brother, living in too-close quarters in a rooming house that’s probably in New York, though Parks never specifies the location. (Are there three-card Monte games or similar shell games on the streets of Toledo, Ohio?) It is about brotherly love and, far more crucially, brotherly hate. And, most of all — and, in this sense, very much like virtually any dramatic play one could name — it is about buried secrets and one secret in particular that Parks hides until the very end of the play like the pea in the shell game."
"...Invictus Theatre's smashingly good Chicago production of Susan-Lori Parks' "Topdog/Underdog" brings us a dark comedy that is both gripping and layered. This Tony winner for its current Broadway revival incorporates all the qualities of a well-written play, steadily unfolding details of the brothers who share a derelict apartment-the plaster is falling, the sink is broken, the working bathroom is down the hall-with exposition artfully buried in the dialog."