Cupid: Drawn and Quartered | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Cupid: Drawn and Quartered


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Cupid: Drawn and Quartered, Black Jack Productions, at the Cornservatory. Love is not only blind--it's evenhanded, descending upon the freakish and the average alike. This evening of four one-acts explores love among couples on the peculiar side. Stephen Gregg's The Sex Lives of Superheroes revolves around a blind date: Michael (Philip Winston) pines for a manipulative ex-girlfriend and delivers lectures to imaginary audiences on superhero sexuality while Elenor (Molly Hale) rewrites classic love stories to give them tragic endings. The weakest of the four stories, it features great character sketches. Next up is David Henry Hwang's Bondage, in which a dominatrix (Lori Garrabrant) lives out interracial fantasies with her Asian client (Gordon Chow). Their words reveal two hearts overflowing with pain and deep longing, but the performances are as constricted as Garrabrant's patent leather ensemble.

The second half offers a delicious glimpse of Cupid's dark side. Andrew Kottler and Leavey Ballou wring every ounce of monstrous quirkiness from Lanford Wilson's Home Free!: a brother and sister hide out and hallucinate in a rat-hole apartment as they await the birth of their first child. Harold Pinter's The Lover demands much subtler interpretation, effortlessly delivered by Dave Skvarla and Lori Grupp. True to form, Pinter starts out with ordinary people--a white-collar married couple--whose casual revelation of a mutual agreement to pursue extramarital affairs eventually devolves into an irrational, menacing situation. A slow build to a satisfying climax (now I need a cigarette).

--Kim Wilson

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