Julia Sweeney is done making terrible movies | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Performing Arts Review

Julia Sweeney is done making terrible movies

The former SNL cast member, now Older and Wider, looks back on life post-Pat.

by

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

3 comments

Former Saturday Night Live cast member Julia Sweeney considers herself "the Al Jolson of androgyny." She's best remembered from SNL for portraying Pat, a character whose ambiguous gender is the subject of much speculation.

In her one-woman show Older and Wider, Sweeney breezes past her career in comedy and shares charming stories about what came next: the life of a stay-at-home mom in Wilmette, having the idyllic "bread-eater" fantasy with a husband and their daughter, Mulan. Her material concerns suburban-parent rites of passage. When Mulan was learning how to drive, Sweeney had her practice in a place where she could do no harm to fellow motorists: a cemetery. When Mulan began dating a Trump supporter, Sweeney meddled with their relationship and sent her husband to pry into the reasons behind the boyfriend's political leanings. Sweeney's past TV work is addressed only in the context of her screening It's Pat: The Movie for Mulan when she was in grade school. Her daughter's initial excitement evaporated with every passing minute.

The rhythm of Older and Wider is reminiscent of a sitcom. Sweeney's in awe of Wrigley Field's long history and ivy-covered walls. "Then I realized I was now required to watch a baseball game," she says, cringing and grinning. Though she lacks some polish and abandons topics too rapidly, her conversational tone and self-effacing humor welcome audience members into her friendship circle. By the end, Sweeney's comfortable enough to share secrets. One of them: It's Pat: The Movie, she says, "is a terrible movie. It's taken me 27 years to admit."  v

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment
 

Add a comment