Crack-Baby's Revenge; or, Mobius Dick | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Crack-Baby's Revenge; or, Mobius Dick

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CRACK-BABY'S REVENGE; or, Mobius Dick, Torso Theatre. Writer-director-producer Billy Bermingham's sequel to Cannibal Cheerleaders on Crack is a weak Three Stooges vision of pseudo apocalypse. I was surprised that this spoof of genders and violent sexuality in a postnuclear world could be so safely gross and blandly unentertaining. One audience member who came because Cannibal Cheerleaders "has some funny lines" stoically returned after intermission because her friend refused to leave, groaning "I paid 15 bucks for this!"

So much for Torso's supposed gore-fest fans. Granted, there is plenty of gore--various body parts produce streams of blood, semen, snot, shit, pus, and other substances, which squirt all over the performers and the stage. Bermingham's literary allusions and jokes are flung about with similar mindless abandon. Moreover, this is a long play--an hour and a half

before intermission--and its drone of dildos, rapes, murders, and boy-girl confusions ends with a whimper and a whine.

The sad thing is that Crack-Baby's Revenge might have been funny if it had been edited down from its two and a half hours and better paced, with quicker comic timing. And despite the nearly somnolent response of the tiny audience, the actors were committed. There was something tragic about watching them work so hard to fail at being shocking.

--Carol Burbank

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