Billy the Mountain & Other Wartime Stories | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

Billy the Mountain & Other Wartime Stories

by

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

comment

This rambunctious rock operetta using Frank Zappa's lyrics contends with a handful of awkward impediments. There's the infamous middle finger of a post that sits dead center before the Elbo Room's stage. Then there's the Striding Lion InterArts Workshop's ingenious seating process, contrived to guarantee a musical-chairs free-for-all. Finally, the tale itself--the adventures of Billy, a southern California mountain that picks up and starts lumbering across the continent--presents staging challenges that might stymie Mary Zimmerman. But with the loosey-goosey mixture of Annie Arnoult Beserra's balletic movement and the cartoon prop that director Amanda Berg Wilson employs to conjure up Billy, this sparkling troupe gives the brush-off to all these difficulties and more. Both the music and the musicians are spot-on, conveying the cheese no less than the chops of Saint Frank's cheerfully jaundiced idiom, and though the singing and dancing are utterly unaffected, they're damn fine too--all in all, a smart, fun, funny romp. Through 3/26: Thu 7:30 PM, Sat 7:30 PM. Then 3/31-4/1: Thu-Fri 7:30 PM. Elbo Room, 2871 N. Lincoln, 773-561-0494. $10.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Taneal Sanders.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Give $35/month →  
  Give $10/month →  
  Give  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Add a comment