Flush | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


Flush, at the Lunar Cabaret. In KellyAnn Corcoran's witty homage to Waiting for Godot, two women in white satin gloves (Corcoran and Elaine Ellis) are driving somewhere. We don't know where they came from or where they're going; we don't know who they are or what their relationship is. Perhaps one is a mother; perhaps one is a murderess. What we do know is that they share a long history but can't communicate what they're really thinking or feeling. Instead they bicker about semantics and the meaning of dreams, trapped in the car out of a sense of obligation--but we're not sure to what.

Flush is less philosophical and more scatological than Beckett's play. In fact, Corcoran's 50 minutes of overlapping chatter, dramatic sighs, and passive-aggressive sniping build to a thorough discussion of, well, poop. In another playwright's hands this might have seemed childish, but Corcoran manages to make the conversation funny, character revealing, slightly tragic, and intellectually intriguing. As the younger woman, Corcoran is all surface charm and submerged rage; Ellis plays the older woman more for laughs, with much grimacing and rolling of eyeballs. The underlying themes are a little murky: is this about (mis)communication between women, the entrapment of middle-class women in the cage of children and marriage, or something else? But Corcoran's vivid imagery and Gregory Werstler's fast-paced staging keep the play rolling even when the characters are stuck in traffic.

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  →