Cut to the Chase | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Performing Arts Review

Cut to the Chase

by

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

comment

Cut to the Chase, Artistic Home. Few of the eight offerings in this short-play showcase will outlast their initial welcome. It's a silly to offbeat to surreal program in which quirkiness is sometimes its own reward, as in Peter DeFaria's wry staging of Jeremy Menekseoglu's Far From Man, a one-joke sketch about a con artist exploiting a Sasquatch legend. Equally wacky, Bilal Dardai's Disconnect inflicts a fitting fate on a clueless telemarketer. Strategically weird encounters fuel two other pieces that are less successful. In Steve Kopka's too cute Minuteman a superhero who sees ten seconds into the future becomes sidekick to a superheroine who can instantly create vacuums, and in John Weagly's talky, overlong King Kong Doesn't Speak a recluse living on an el track offers deliverance to a suicidal loser.

The more successful scripts rely on dissonant characterizations easily exploited by apprentice actors. Paul Moulton's March contrasts an amoral assassin with a missionary whose prayers fall on deaf ears. In Stephanie K. McCanles's Audition--the most irritating work, albeit an intriguing one--a passive-aggressive casting director triggers a powerful childhood memory in a hopeful actress he abuses. Tim Miller's very raw 8-Point assembles dysfunctional druggies in a properly pointless caper. And the amusing Not Even a Train, written by Kevin Armold and Gus Buktenica and directed by Patrick Thornton, delivers Noel Coward-like complications: a romance is complicated by the ghost of a former girlfriend. Nothing here soars, but at least no one disgraces the stage.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Give $35/month →  
  Give $10/month →  
  Give  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Add a comment