35 MM: A Musical Exhibition | Flatiron Arts Building | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

35 MM: A Musical Exhibition The Short List (Theater) Image Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through April 10 2016

Ryan Scott Oliver based each of the 21 tuneful, insubstantial numbers in this 2012 song cycle on a Matthew Murphy photograph. Those marginally interesting images, projected upstage in Circle Theatre’s intimate production, have little to do with one another, making for an evening of songs about, um, stuff: a happy couple, a lousy date, an abused wife, a vengeful prom queen. Director Cameron Turner attempts to unify the material by staging almost every number as if it were the show’s emotional climax, all scrunchy-faced exuberance or teary-eyed anguish. The five cast members have fine voices, and musical director Ryan Brewster’s six-piece band delivers the goods. But incessant emoting turns middling lyrics into insupportable melodrama and by the time it’s over, it all feels a bit silly. —Justin Hayford

Price: $35

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