Cowboy Crushes, Prank Calls, and the Biblette | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Cowboy Crushes, Prank Calls, and the Biblette

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Cowboy Crushes, Prank Calls & the Biblette, Second City, Donny's Skybox Studio. Kara Buller and C.J. Hayden bravely take the stage to share their past humiliations and disappointments, but their efforts--first one, then the other woman performs a block of loosely linked scenes--produce an uneven show. While they offer some fresh, sharply hilarious observations, they also get bogged down in mundane reminiscences and lackluster admissions.

Buller's "Drama Queen" scene, in which she offers serious drama performed by children's toys, and her shrewd dissection of pithy yearbook sentiments are her strongest segments. Otherwise she's too caught up in reliving the banal horrors of high school--the only bit from her current life is the bizarre but weak "Bjorkland." Hayden is best at scenes not culled from her own experience--for example, a tight, tart pitch for a "better Bible," which she calls the Biblette. As a performer, her talent lies in her physical abandon and ability to impersonate the people she's encountered since moving from Colorado to Chicago.

No director is credited with this hour-long show, in which Hayden and Buller are sporadically backed by a mediocre supporting cast. An outside eye might have helped them mine their material for greater laughs or insights. As it is, too many scenes end abruptly or lack clear focus.

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