Fratricide | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Fratricide, Reuptake Inhibiting Productions, at WNEP Theater. In Zadie Smith's novel The Autograph Man, protagonist Alex-Li Tandem devotes his wasted life in part to determining whether a giant list of things are goyish or Jewish according to a set of rules devised by Lenny Bruce. Writer Homer Marrs could probably spend a lifetime devising a similar list for gay and straight and come up with something really hilarious, but his approach in the sketch-comedy revue Fratricide is much more evenhanded: in his mind, gay and straight experiences intersect all the time.

Marrs--a veteran of GayCo Productions and the Playground's "Three Dollar Bill" improv series--takes a poke at some familiar types in these coming-of-age stories: fraternity initiates walk around in bondage gear, two florists argue over who's the bigger flamer, and a gay romance is recounted with the sweet sincerity of a John Hughes movie. Director Fuzzy Gerdes gives Fratricide a crisp precision throughout, but the show loses some momentum when Marrs tries to tie a neat bow out of all its loose ends. The first half is a warm hug, and the second is like warm beer. Still, the image of Sylvia Plath giving a prim reading at a stadium rock venue is so indelible it's hard to fault Marrs for trying to plow through so much material in his first script.

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