American Beauty Shop | Chicago Dramatists | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

American Beauty Shop The Short List (Theater) Image Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through June 5 2016

Dana Lynn Formby's new play is less a drama than a linked series of dramatic tics. The tale of Sue, a Colorado hairdresser facing various challenges as she struggles back from the 2008 economic collapse, it offers a checklist of conventional tropes, including a big-m Metaphor, a Spunky Ethnic Sidekick, a Quirky Old Lady, a Ticket Outta This One-Horse Town scenario, and lots of clunky foreshadowing. Sue's psychology is telegraphed—and then named outright for good measure—as is that of her alcoholic younger sister, Doll. And then there's stuff that just seems peculiar, like: What's with the fantasy sequences, dropped belatedly into an otherwise realistic play? I saw a preview performance at the invitation of the company; as things stood then, Megan Shuchman's staging was somehow unfocused and schematic at the same time. —Tony Adler

Price: $18, $13 students and seniors


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