Confessions of a Male Pin-Up | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Confessions of a Male Pin-Up

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CONFESSIONS OF A MALE PIN-UP, Turn Around Theatre. Here's one confession Rick Beech and Sean Abley, the disastrous duo behind this belabored embarrassment, forgot to make: "We're delusional." They imagine that plastering boys town with posters of Beech smoldering hunkily in a towel, then having him strip twice and hand out naked pictures of himself during this 45-minute one-man show "skewers the exploitative gay theatre scene." Their thesaurus must list "pander to" as a synonym for "skewer."

This collection of impersonal anecdotes and toothless cultural critiques simply can't keep its hands out of its own pants. Halfway through the show (after the photo distribution and strip number one), Beech claims he's heard the audience grumbling about the lack of nudity--whereupon he vacuums the stage naked. How Beech heard anything from the seven icily quiet people present opening night is a mystery. Perhaps he also hears voices.

The 14 minutes of genuinely funny material trapped in this vanity (and I do mean vanity) production include Beech's musings about his mother, who's "firmly committed to the first stages of codependency." But even the best material is brutalized by Beech's ham-handed, overeager delivery, which creates a coerced intimacy that makes his "confessions" feel as disingenuous as everything else in this production.

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