Belle Barth: If I Embarrass You, Tell Your Friends | No Exit Cafe | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Belle Barth: If I Embarrass You, Tell Your Friends Member Picks The Short List (Theater) Recommended Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 21 2008

Born Annabelle Saltzman in 1911, Belle Barth was a wonderfully raunchy nightclub comic who made best-selling "adult party albums" in the 1960s. She started out working Borscht Belt hotels, but found her greatest success after moving to Miami Beach in 1950. Her act, packed with sexual and scatological gags, caused her legal problems but won her legions of fans. The Theo Ubique Theatre Company's new musical finds Belle rehearsing for a gig, interspersing off-color patter with personal reminiscences about failed relationships and multiple marriages. Joanne Koch's script and Owen Kalt and Ilya Levinson's songs are derivative and forgettable. But the jokes are hilarious, and Bethany Thomas's brassy delivery is on the money. Director Fred Anzevino's intimate staging costars Courtney Crouse as the men in Belle's life. --Albert Williams

Price: $20

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