April 3, 2015

Although no special olfactory effects have been employed, you can practically smell the spilled beer and stale cigarette smoke as you enter the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, where “The Undeniable Sound of Right Now,” a new play by Laura Eason, opened on Thursday. Ms. Eason’s engaging, superbly acted drama takes place in a Chicago rock club that’s been in business for a quarter-century and looks like it hasn’t been given a good scrub since it opened its doors. The set, by John McDermott, will strike a nostalgic chord in the hearts of dive dwellers of the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. (It’s still a heartbreaker that CBGB is now a John Varvatos store.) The bar stool seats are more duct tape than vinyl; the windows have been painted black — sloppily — to block out offending daylight; posters from bands both familiar and obscure are slowly decaying on the walls.