Dusa, Fish, Stas & Vi | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Performing Arts Review

Dusa, Fish, Stas & Vi

by

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

comment

DUSA, FISH, STAS & VI, Watershed, at the Athenaeum Theatre. The women of the title are four roommates who grapple with, among other things, anorexia, divorce, child snatching, stalking, unrequited love, feminism, gender equality, biological-clock imperatives, working through school as a "paid escort," and social activism. This they do in properly supportive sisterly fashion, while lounging, cooking, exercising, and consuming gallons of coffee and red wine.

This is enough material for a dozen plays, and given that the ending can be foreseen a good 30 minutes in advance, personalities become very important. Unfortunately Pam Gems has sketched her characters so sparingly that we never get to know them well enough to care about them. Director Tonya Allen's attempt to update the action from 1976 London to present-day Chicago only compounds the script's artificiality. (Why does Stas, full-time biologist and part-time hooker, never mention AIDS? Why are these four presumably independent adults living together in the first place?)

The members of the Watershed company struggle valiantly to give some life to this debut production, but only Louisa Heinrich, as the tough-talking Fish, and Larissa Borkowski, as the cheerfully amoral Stas, succeed in turning Gems's human editorials into people we might want to know.

--Mary Shen Barnidge

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