Elvicula | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Elvicula

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Saint Sebastian Players, at Saint Bonaventure Church.

The premise of this late-night show--Elvis, brought back from the dead, turns out to be a vampire--might, in the hands of a troupe of brilliant comedians, be passably amusing. But as performed by this ensemble of "not ready for non-Equity" players, Jonathan Hagloch's Elvicula is a long evening of excruciatingly bad theater. Of the cast of seven, only Stephen Rader--who is quite nice as Elvicula--seems to understand that acting involves more than just standing onstage remembering most of your lines.

Not that Hagloch's cast of universally piss-poor singers and pretty bad to merely OK actors is the main problem with this exercise in inefficient storytelling. (Starting at 10:30, Elvicula is two and a half hours long!) Hagloch, who wrote the show's book and lyrics, desperately needed someone to tell him to (1) cut repetitious dialogue, (2) slash unnecessary scenes, (3) write more songs (preferably in a style actually reminiscent of those sung by the King), and (4) start with a premise that doesn't involve Elvis, who's been done to death--you have to work twice as hard just to make the audience care. Sadly, Hagloch also directed, and it shows in every sluggish scene, forgettable lyric, and overwritten line.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/David Konzcal.

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