Cows on Stage | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader
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Cows on Stage, at Bailiwick Repertory. Performing a kids' show for an audience of five adults has got to be a challenge. But at the performance I saw of writer-director Rusty Hernandez's tribute to everyone's favorite ruminants, Alanda Coon and Keri Elser acquitted themselves well, with good-natured aplomb. The show itself is a mostly enjoyable 45-minute romp--or "confessional journey," as the bovine characters put it--through the life and times of cows, both famous (Mrs. O'Leary's unfairly maligned milk cow) and otherwise.

As emcees Bessie and Daisy, Coon and Elser trade corny gibes with all the pep of the Sweeney sisters on Saturday Night Live. Coon is the more confident performer, though Elser scores some laughs by clutching a milk carton and plaintively asking the audience, "Got cookies?" There are also various characters, such as Coon's Sacred Cow--whom she characterizes as "like Britney Spears only better," a ditzy Valley Girl confident that she deserves only the best in life. In a sly running bit, the two campaign against eating beef and wearing cow leather, strongly suggesting that chickens and pigs make for better dining and clothing options. A few cow facts--four stomachs, chewing a cud, etc--are tossed in for educational value, but mostly the show is about seeing two people cavorting in various (uncredited) cow costumes. As the city's Cows on Parade proved, however, bovines are fun to look at, and the younger set will probably get a kick out of this amiable pair.

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