Dr. Sex | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

comment

Dr. Sex, Bailiwick Repertory. Though Alfred Kinsey, father of sexology, has been attacked over the years by conservatives and religious fanatics for his midcentury studies of American sexual practices, that fact comes up only once in this new musical, workshopped at the ASCAP/Disney Musical Theater Workshop. Otherwise this fantasy biography sashays through Kinsey's real and imagined sexual escapades--some, like a long-term menage a trois with his wife and a graduate student, "Wally," almost certainly never happened. But as directed by David Zak, with a book by Larry Bortniker and Sally Deering and upbeat lyrics and music by Bortniker, Dr. Sex is flip and funny, sassy and sexy, and naughty without being explicit. Its message: no matter what your sexual quirks or kinks, you're not alone--so enjoy yourself.

In the flirty first half we meet Kinsey (Jamie Axtell) and his parents and watch him become a professor of zoology. He also discovers sex with his wife (Sarah Laue), then explores his fantasies of sex with men, including Wally (Joshua Campbell). The show flags in the second half, which explores Kinsey's doubts about his research and attempts to get funding; still, social science has seldom been such fun. Jeff Jones's saucy costumes--early-20th-century underwear--capture the show's flavor perfectly, as does Russ Borski's set: the centerpiece is a mural of men and women similarly dressed and exploring the birds and bees.

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?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Add a comment