Bonedanse | Theater Wit | Dance | Chicago Reader

Bonedanse Recommended The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Feb. 12 2012

Are human beings perfectible? Hardly. But that doesn't stop us from trying. In This Is a Damage Manual, Bonedanse artistic director Atalee Judy traces the cult of self-improvement back to the 1950s in eight movement-and-text vignettes that are sometimes pathetic, sometimes funny, and sometimes both at once. Voice-overs include excerpts from LPs by golden-voiced motivational speaker Earl Nightingale and soothing anxiety doc Claire Weekes, while punk and postpunk music define the cultural backlash. Judy is especially good as an anguished soul who believes that hypnosis has unleashed her inner monster. The show is too long, with an unnecessary intermission and a repetitive solo for a 50s housewife, choreographed by guest artist Jyl Fehrenkamp. But it succeeds in taking us inside the fundamentally innocent striving for betterment. —Laura Molzahn

Price: $15-$24

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