C'Mon | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


C'Mon, at the Playground. With his white short-sleeved dress shirt, black pants, black midwidth tie, portly physique, and wide-eyed stupefaction, solo performer Michael Lehrer could easily pass as the colorless mail-room guy who goes postal one day. And after hearing what he has to say, we might understand. Through seven characters--among others, a gay rapper, a movie star wannabe, a convict resigned to orienting kids to prison, and a Successories spokesman--Lehrer voices amazement at some of life's cruel jokes. For example, how is it that some people still can't get ahead despite a glut of empowerment programs ("No, no--not 'impossible!' I'm possible!!!")? Why is Tom Hanks of all people famous?

Lehrer's alternation between bewildered first-person rants and conversations with imaginary partners keeps this one-hour revue clipping along and provides plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. Between segments Jon Lehrer, dressed the same as his brother, cleanses our palate with kung fu-Giordano dance interludes. Together they offer a perfectly serviceable late-evening entertainment. However, both could stand to paint with broader strokes. Michael could better distinguish his characters, who all seem to speak from the same point of view. If Jon could echo that with a wider range (including fewer pirouettes and Britney hop-hop moves), he could become a sinuous alter ego, not just a diversion.

Add a comment