Tracy Letts has written a fine play about a smart, sad sack grouch. For the most part, LINDA VISTA is engaging and funny, but there's just too much of it. After a while, it grinds to a halt. You could say the same, I suppose, for Letts' main character--his life just spins down--but the play doesn't convincingly develop a perspective much different than the one it starts with. There's a glimmer of hope, or a degree of redemption, that's suggested at the end, but it feels unearned and, given what's come before, unlikely. And somewhat sentimental. While the main character here has a mean, at times scabrous, wit that's forged from a defensive distance, he's still relatively endearing. He's a crank, but his cynicism is appreciable even as it's entirely bound to his sorrow. All of this is impeccably played by these actors in Steppenwolf's customary style of exalted naturalism. Curiously though, the play is satisfying without being very interesting.