A Kiss From Alexander | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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A Kiss From Alexander


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This musical has an offbeat premise: gay actor-director Nick sets out to create a spoof of Alexander the Great--and gets the real Alexander as his leading man, onstage and off, when the Macedonian conqueror returns from the underworld. Librettist Stephan deGhelder has done his research--the script and lyrics are packed with historical references and theater trivia. But the show is undone by coarse double entendres, lame camp humor, swishy stereotypes, sentimental cliches, and a callow, unconvincing portrayal of Alexander, by newcomer Graham Kurtz. (Oddly, given Bailiwick's reputation and the story's classical Greek motif, David Zak's staging contains no nudity.) On the plus side: an appealing, honest performance by Jason Bowen as Nick; John Cardone's well-timed comic turn as a bitchy actor who covets Alexander's, um, part; and a tuneful if derivative score, composed by Brad Simmons in the idiom of Rodgers and Hart. Through 8/14: Wed-Thu 8 PM, Sat 6 PM, Sun 4 PM. Bailiwick Repertory, Bailiwick Arts Center, 1229 W. Belmont, 773-883-1090. $25-$30.

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