Goldilocks and the Three Bears | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Goldilocks and the Three Bears

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Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Inequity Theatrical Collaboration, at the Cornservatory. John Morley turns the bedtime favorite into a swinging burlesque melodrama set behind the scenes of a floundering three-ring circus. The porridge/chair/bed bit is intact, but in this version a buxom Goldilocks (Genevieve Pritchard) stumbles across the bears' cottage while trying to save the circus, owned by her mother, from falling into the greasy paws of whip-wielding mogul Benjamin Black (Scott Harris). Who better to save the day than a family of bears who can jump, jive, and wail? But when the new act threatens Black's audience share, the most serious battles (and the sickest jokes) begin.

Despite the title, the show really belongs to Harris, with solid support from Scott Allen as audience-tweaking clown Joey Wizzbang and Christina Harris as Sadie Spangle, Goldi's mother (and a possible reincarnation of Divine). The villain oozes, twinkles, and snarls until he has wrung the last ounce of sadistic glee from each syllable. Kids would adore him--though the promo materials and 11 PM show time clearly indicate that this is not a family event. It's a shame, because under the nipple twisting, naughty pig latin, and R. Kelly references--not to mention costume designer Joan Pritchard's wickedly cheeky garter belts and bulge enhancements--lies a solidly constructed kids' play. Fair warning: the compact, non-air-conditioned space gets hot, and the low-rise back seats make for partially obstructed views. Arrive early and wear deodorant.

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