Histrionics: Four Plays by Women on Psychology, Sexx, and General Madness | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Histrionics: Four Plays by Women on Psychology, Sexx, and General Madness


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Histrionics: four plays by women on psychology, sex, and general madness, Stockyards Theatre Project, at the Heartland Studio Theater. Four short plays address the search for self. The Narcissistic Personality Disorder Radio Show, by Silvia Gonzalez S., tunes in to radio talk-show host Natasha Woods (Claudia Vasilovik)--"not a licensed therapist, but...I'vedone a lot of research." Woods counsels a wide array of victims (hilariously portrayed by Angela Bullard and Francesca Peppiatt) who, judging from their accents, hail from the south, the Bronx, and England. Amazing demographics considering the show's not syndicated.

In Margaret G. Waterstreet's Stranger at My Gate, a woman (Kate Winters) catches her former psychiatrist (Robert Deery) stealing her daughter's cell phone--a step toward his new life as a phone-sex operator. Kimberley Orton's Raven intrigues thanks largely to Heather Graff's frayed, fragile performance as a girl convinced that she ate her mother (though Bullard's doctor seems too defensive and confrontational for a trained psychotherapist). Linda Eisenstein's Running From the Red Girl moves to the psychospiritual plane: Dr. Yin Yang (Staci Singer) helps Jackie (Linara Washington) balance her aura between passionate red and clear blue, personified by dancing goddesses. But the piece itself is out of balance--Washington should modulate her broad delivery, and Christina Hemphill fails to tap into fiery Red Goddess rage.

Like many productions at the Heartland Studio, this one isn't mind-blowing, but it is well crafted and enjoyable.

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