“Do you think we’re all living in utter confusion?” asks a character in Lucky Plush Productions’ “The Better Half.” Confusion, perhaps. Utter, no. There is clever method in the fractured madness of this dance-theater twist on the Ingrid Bergman-Charles Boyer noir thriller, “Gaslight.” There is also delicious humor and a dark, poignant undercurrent that makes this 75-minute work by the Chicago-based troupe both charming and memorably provocative, positing question after question on the nature of reality, identity, and human relationships.
Co-created and directed by Leslie Buxbaum Danzig and Julia Rhoads, the work’s opening setup is that of a casting call for an undetermined play, and four of the work’s five performers try to figure out exactly who they’re supposed to be portraying, information Timothy Heck’s “guy with a script” doles out only sparingly. From there, the work unfurls like an extended, very sophisticated improvisation skit with good literary bones and a vibrant movement aesthetic that seeds the action with choreography that is both telling and refreshingly organic.