Lexie Mountain Boys | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Lexie Mountain Boys

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Ain't no boys in this Baltimore outfit, and no men either--just husky-voiced ringleader Lexie Mountain, aka Alexandra Macchi, and any number of female friends and accomplices. Their act, aside from the crazy costumes and stage business, is almost all vocal, and they charge headlong into the things most of us fear about public speaking: that we'll slip up, sound less than eloquent, expose ourselves somehow. The Boys don't so much slip up as throw themselves off a cliff--they yodel a vaguely bluesy powwow of nonsense phrases (or just nonsense syllables), their voices akimbo, swooping and rippling, rarely in tune or in sync and often startlingly ugly. Their approach to verbal communication skips across the line in your head that separates embarrassment from total freedom--and with the hiccups and raspy chokes that interrupt their twittering hysterics, tortured shrieks, and hubba-hubba scatting, they remind you of the inhibitions they've left behind. Each improvised performance starts with an idea or theme--the women might make a human pyramid, for instance, or throw some uprooted bushes onstage--then unravels into a lush pandemonium that blends nature fetishism, southern charm, and womanly mysticism. And every piece ends in a breakthrough, whether that means an eruption of infernal racket or an openhearted seventh-grade love song. This is the type of thing most people think is either absolute genius or complete bullshit; I'm going with the former. WZT Hearts and Fake Leg open. a 9 PM, Nihilist, 2255 S. Michigan #4E, 312-567-9407, $5 suggested donation. A

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