Golden Corral | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Joe Steiff's poignant solo show about growing up gay in rural Appalachia is sad and funny, the nostalgia cut with a keen hindsight that's piercingly honest. An old-fashioned storyteller, he spins his tale in a soothing voice that takes us into his hometown of 300 souls, where there are guns in the glove box, people play bluegrass on the front porch, and young gay men are abandoned by their family, friends, and community. Director Brigid Murphy has cleverly structured Steiff's autobiographical story like a good episode of This American Life: themes recur subtly, without smothering the narrative, and jumps in time act as cliff-hangers. Together Murphy and Steiff take the mundane details of his young adulthood and make magic. Fri 3/31, 8:30 PM, Sat 4/1, 7 PM, then Fri-Sat 4/7-4/8, 7 PM. Live Bait Theater, 3914 N. Clark, 773-871-1212, $12, $20 for this show and Fun While It Lasted (see separate listing).

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