Mercy Killers

The One-Man Show performed by Michael Milligan

Mercy Strain Review Chicago Reader

Review of Mercy Strain at the American Theater Company in Chicago


“A pre-Obamacare study from 2009 found that a large percentage of Americans are one serious illness away from financial ruin. This gripping hour-long monologue by writer-performer Michael Milligan details precisely how it might happen. Milligan plays an Appalachian auto mechanic whose wife is diagnosed with breast cancer at the height of the great recession. As her condition worsens, astronomical medical bills pile up, the house goes into foreclosure, and mounting desperation finally leads to an act of violence. Though Milligan obviously intends to show us how unfair things can be for the working poor, his script is more than propaganda; the protagonist is allowed his flaws, contradictions, and idiosyncrasies. As a performer, Milligan is riveting, conveying a fascinating mix of decency, heartbreak, and impotent fury.” —Zac Thompson

Read the original review from the Chicago Reader


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