Fit to Be Tied | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Fit to Be Tied

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FIT TO BE TIED, Frump Tucker Theatre Company, at Bailiwick Repertory. The subject matter is not what we expect of a situation comedy: lonely rich kid Arloc is afraid to find out the results of his AIDS test, so he kidnaps a chorus boy from the Radio City Musical Hall Christmas extravaganza. No sooner is this ersatz angel bound and gagged, however, than Arloc's mother announces that she's left his boring stepfather and is moving in with her son. This being a Nicky Silver play, however, the three soon bond with one another and turn into a happily obsessive little menage a trois.

None of these greedy, irresponsible, self-absorbed people is particularly pleasant, but in veteran director Steve Scott's staging they emerge as personalities perhaps misguided but still cuddly enough to have their own TV series (on cable, anyway). Jody Wilson acts up a storm as the vain, vigorous, vodka-swilling, chain-smoking, ultimately charming Mommie Dearest. Duane Sharp finds broad but consistent subtexts in the role of her abandoned hubby. And Kevin Austin has some nice moments as the object of desire. The only retarding factor in this briskly paced production--and momentum is all-important in this genre--is Peter Follet's curiously bland Arloc, who gives us little beyond the requirements of the plot to explain why so many selfish egotists should concern themselves with his welfare.

--Mary Shen Barnidge

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