Come Blow Your Horn | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Performing Arts Review

Come Blow Your Horn


Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


Come Blow Your Horn, Eclipse Theatre Company, at Victory Gardens Theater. In a sense Neil Simon never escaped his origins writing comedy for radio and TV. All too often he flattens nicely rendered, multidimensional characters with an easy gag or predictable twist. This is especially true of his first Broadway hit, the 1961 Come Blow Your Horn, about two brothers trying to strike out on their own in NYC. An odd amalgam of comic cliches (the bimbo next door, the slick lover boy) and then-fresh ideas (swinging bachelors and bachelorettes, the open discussion of sex, the clash of generations), it's made all the stranger by Simon's sometimes clunky storytelling and the fact that much of his comedy is based on sexist attitudes: boys like sex, good girls don't, etc.

The Eclipse folks have done a pretty good job of re-creating the look and feel of the original play, though it's hard to believe anyone ever had an apartment as cool and as filled with pop art as the one that Christopher Jensen has designed. Happily, Steven Fedoruk's ensemble is not as loud as the set. In fact everyone plays the comedy fairly close to the vest, which means that the subtle jokes really fly and the more obvious bits aren't too excruciating. James Foster and Nathaniel Swift have great chemistry as the two brothers, and Cheri Chenoweth deserves a Jeff for not going over the top in the tiresome Jewish mother role.

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