Diva Diaries | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Diva Diaries


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DIVA DIARIES | Three senior citizen drag queens (Alexandra Billings, Honey West, and Berwick Haynes) spend the last night of the Pandora's Box nightclub reminiscing and kvetching in their dressing room. Their memories are enacted in part by shiny, hopeful versions of their younger selves (Jay L. Johnson, Paul Tomak, and Ty Perry), who regularly appear in glittering costumes performing hits of the 70s, 80s, and 90s. The nostalgia factor is welcome, but John Mercurio's 18 songs are sloppy and overblown, not so much advancing character as replaying hordes of cliches about drag queens, theater people, and gays. The music overwhelms the meager script by Mercurio, Jem Jender, and Andrew Kato, though all six actors--especially Haynes--give the frequent switches between sarcasm and schmaltz sparkle and heart. Fritz Masten's costumes and Robert Andrew Kovach's set are dazzling but can't save the show. Through 1/2: Wed-Thu 7:30 PM, Fri-Sat 7 and 10 PM, Sun 4 and 7 PM. Lakeshore Theater, 3175 N. Broadway, 773-472-3492. $42.50-$45.50; dinner-show package available.

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