Margie Gillis | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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If you're going to be onstage by yourself for an entire evening, you'd better be ready to be a lot of people. Margie Gillis is. With her flowing hair, strong limbs, and delicate but lively torso, she's both rooted and airy, a plastic creature. In Bloom she's the famous Molly, dancing the world's most famous monologue for a woman written by a man--as prim and as angry, as hobbled and strong, as earthbound and yearning as James Joyce's original, capturing all Molly Bloom's quicksilver shifts second by second. In Give Me Your Heart Tonight Gillis is a pop puppet of love, a woman alone in her sleepless bed tossed over and over by the forces of erotic imagination into ludicrous erotic positions: rear end to the ceiling, one cheek to the pillow; or twisted into a pretzellike odalisque. Abruptly slapping her legs to the floor Gillis makes her own bare flesh quiver and shake--she's pathetic, she's a piece of meat. She's us. It's funny. This soloist remakes herself from one dance to another; she's simply a compelling performer, strong and playful. You'll like being in her hands. Gillis will offer a free lecture/demonstration Thursday at 12:15 in the theater of the Harold Washington Library, 400 S. State; call 747-4800 for info. Regular performances, which will include both Bloom and Give Me Your Heart Tonight, are next Friday and Saturday, April 23 and 24, at 8 at the Dance Center of Columbia College, 4730 N. Sheridan; $10-$14. Call 271-7928 for tickets.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Michael Slobodian.

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