Cordelia Was the Fool | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Cordelia Was the Fool


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Cordelia Was the Fool, Great Beast Theater, at the Inner Town Pub. This evening of monologues includes modestly interesting meditations that trail off all too frequently into inconclusiveness, blurring the line between performance and stand-up comedy of the "Did you ever notice...?" variety.

The strongest of the three participants, both as writer and performer, is KellyAnn Corcoran, who presents two sharply observed reminiscences of her family--and even she suffers for want of a director to eliminate superfluous elements. (Michael Martin "staged" all six pieces on this program.) Merrie Greenfield needs help regulating the number of ideas in her pieces: a monologue about weddings and funerals is so dense the point gets obscured, while another about ex-boyfriends is too slight.

Most trying is the work of Julie Caffey, whose shtick is the body as burden: her first piece features a man (Von Mock) perched on her back like an organ grinder's monkey and her feet roped onto folding chairs, while "High-Heeled Bricks" does indeed require her to wear shoes made of piles of bricks. The problem is, these bits are funnier to hear about than they are to see. Caffey is a fine physical comedian, and she provides the occasional flash of wit ("In the refrigerator of your life, the milk carton has expired"). But by and large she's not sure whether she's doing comedy or something Deep and Meaningful, and so neither are we. (Jennifer Biddle La Fleur replaces Caffey on March 11 and Corcoran on March 18 and 25.)

--Kelly Kleiman

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