Milly's Virgin Show: Everybody Who's Never Done It | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Milly's Virgin Show: Everybody Who's Never Done It


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Want to feel old? Consider that it's been 12 years since Brigid Murphy premiered Milly's Orchid Show, the vaudeville jumble she presides over as the queen of tackiness, Milly May Smithy. At one time Murphy jammed her rotating roster of performers into the tiny back room at Lounge Ax, but as the club grew, so did the show--and by 1990 she was selling out the Park West. National figures like Eric Bogosian, Nora Dunn, Emo Philips, and Blue Man Group have enlivened her free-for-all, but she's starting all over again in her newest installment, filling the evening with "everybody who's never done it." Included in the lineup are such local marvels as jazz musician Patricia Barber, monologuist Amy Seeley, the Midnight Circus, singer-songwriter Sally Timms of the Mekons, and storyteller Bryn Magnus. Some may consider Michael Patrick King, veteran television writer from Murphy Brown, to be the evening's big draw, but it's doubtful anyone will top Ashley Sproule, a 12-year-old magician assisted by two gigantic guys in dresses. She may have been a mere zygote when the show debuted, but Murphy thinks Sproule is the real deal. "I can't give away her tricks," Murphy says, "but her final illusion is a whopper." Park West, 322 W. Armitage, 773-929-5959. Saturday, June 5, 8 PM (doors open 7 PM). $30.

--Justin Hayford

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