Hair High | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Sort of a cross between Grease and stage-four cancer, Bill Plympton's latest animated grotesquerie (2005) takes place at a 50s high school where the girls wear gigantic bouffants and the boys' hairdos reach for the sky like rock formations in Monument Valley. A nerdy new kid runs afoul of the school's leather-clad biker bully (voiced by Dermot Mulroney), his vain prom-queen girlfriend (Sarah Silverman), and the school's draconian social politics, but Plympton happily lets the plot slide whenever he gets an idea too gross or grippingly surreal to pass up. Like the routines in Naked Lunch this tends toward entropy, with blood and viscera flying, but Plympton puts it across with his cool, clean artwork, so faithful to his newspaper roots with its creamy colors and half-tone shadowing. 77 min. Plympton will present Hair High as part of "The John & Bill Show" (see separate listing); tickets are $25. a Sat 5/26, 8 PM, Portage.

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