Hellcab | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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HELLCAB, Famous Door Theatre Company, at the Theatre Building. Almost ten years into its run, this show hasn't appreciably aged. Certainly some references have been updated (when someone refers to a "kid" on the Bulls, the comeback is "They're all kids"). The youngish cast is probably responsible for contemporary touches that enliven standby characters. But I suspect Will Kern's cavalcade of urban grotesques, as seen by a bleary-eyed cabdriver, is simply as timeless as death, war, or taxes. And while the play often shoots at easy targets, it does have a heart, grounding what could otherwise have become a tedious one-note procession. I don't know that this material was ever all that funny, but it remains extremely watchable.

At this point everything about the production is naturally polished and professional. Lead Will Casey has his gruff-but-lovable routine down cold. Perhaps the strongest player is relative newcomer Timothy Kane, playing a variety of agitated creeps. Perry Hampton gives an assured performance with remarkable moments of quiet range. The rest of the cast is solid if unspectacular.

Contrary to its title and billing, Hellcab isn't all that dark or edgy, but that's OK. As much about north-side geography as anything, this ride's charm lies in its familiarity.

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