Lick the Mouse | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Performing Arts Review

Lick the Mouse


Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


Lick the Mouse, Hi-Volt Theatre Company, at Breadline Theatre. Christopher Dippel's 40-minute play, his first, is like a subversive Saturday Night Live sketch stretched too thin. A Father Knows Best sort of family living in a parallel universe keeps a plastic statue of Mickey Mouse on the mantel as an icon. Whenever they enter or leave the room--or have a disturbing thought--they lick it as a kind of genuflection. Their life is perfect until son Charlie (Peter Ellis) reads Huckleberry Finn and learns for the first time about questioning authority, defined here as both corporate culture and organized religion. His refusal to lick the mouse leads to the entrance of a pious, slightly sinister Mouseketeer (Manny Tamayo) who tries to bring Charlie back into the fold.

The plot moves along well under director Chris Matthews, though Dippel's use of Huckleberry Finn remains puzzling--his premise has promise but never turns into anything deeper than a one-note joke. Larry Sellers and Matthews get the set right, however, right down to the Yule log burning merrily on a TV screen.

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  →