Bobrauschenbergamerica | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Playwright Charles L. Mee, darling of the American quasi avant-garde, delivers his usual pretentious noodlings in this aimless 2001 piece, which Robert Rauschenberg called a "parody of cliches of my thinking." He was being generous. If you believe the critics, Mee's 43 unrelated scenes--a homeless person directs an imaginary action movie, a scientist marvels at the basics of relativity, a guy dives repeatedly into a pile of laundry, everyone square-dances--explore the American ideals embodied in Rauschenberg's exquisitely chaotic works. But in truth Mee's seemingly unedited material is emptier than the all-white canvases. Hometown Theatre Project's debut, employing mostly current Northwestern students and recent grads, isn't visually or stylistically coherent, but its manicured exuberance occasionally charms. Through 9/10: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 2 PM, Spareroom, 2416 W. North, 847-800-8925, $10-$15.

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