I Saw You | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Bruised Orange Theater Company's I Saw You is a charming theatrical interpretation of "I Saw You," "Matches," and "X-Matches" listings from the Reader. Performed in bars, on stages or stools in the back, each show (they've done five since last November) features a rotating cast of three actors presenting ads published in the past year, the yearnings of their anonymous characters echoing the banter, flirting, and stares of the patrons. The material is naturally funny--"I backed up your toilet something fierce," "Do you like to churn butter?"--but the actors avoid the trap of easy "sexy" voices and imaginatively embellish the text with a wide range of accents and consistently surprising demeanors (from shy to monstrous, robotic monotone to smarmy). Ann Sonneville, the only performer to have done every show (and she's slated for the next four) is also the strongest, flashing distinct, often over-the-top personas with earnest exuberance. Reading from an ad titled "Pirate Says Surrender the Booty" she grunts loudly, "I recently got me heart torn from me chest!" a Wed 6/13, 8 PM, Town Hall Pub, 3340 N. Halsted, 773-588-9092, $5. See online listing for upcoming shows.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo by Mark Spence.

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