Desperate Dolls | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Desperate Dolls Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Mondays, Tuesdays, Sundays. Continues through Dec. 23 2014

The last time a Darren Callahan play and I crossed paths was in 2009. Polarity Theatre mounted his The White Airplane, a fantasy about a Lilliput airline that transports souls from body to body. Cool concept notwithstanding, the thing was a mess, its scenes apparently arranged by chance. Now that I've seen Strawdog Theatre's staging of another Callahan script, I'm thinking that messy may be his aesthetic. Scenes get strewn every which way in this 80-minute tribute to sex-and-violence exploitation movies such as Roger Corman turned out in the 1960s. But the dissonance isn't just structural. I found myself feeling more and more alienated from Desperate Dolls as it went on its Hollywood-starlet-murdering way. In the time of Bill Cosby, Jian Ghomeshi, and Ray Rice, it's harder than ever to find campy humor in brutalized women. —Tony Adler

Price: $15

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