Mondo Edwardo | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Performing Arts Review

Mondo Edwardo

Live Bait Theater

by

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

comment

MONDO EDWARDO, Live Bait Theater. Mondo Edwardo is really two shows: Mondo, an overwritten six-character fantasy trip around the world with Edward Thomas-Herrera, and Edwardo, a warm, no-frills, autobiographical solo show about a likable bright gay man, born Catholic, raised in (God help him) Texas by an Anglo father and a Latina mother, who suffers at the hands of various homophobes (parish priests, close-minded therapists) before finding himself in Chicago. I think my preference is showing.

In Mondo Thomas-Herrera "travels" from one exotic place to another, visiting the famous and the fabulous (among them Isak Dinesen and Coco Chanel), striking poses, and engaging in idle, sometimes brittle chitchat--and we just don't care. The scenes seem forced, the characters flat, the dialogue too desperate to be hip, despite some truly great one-liners--"I'm a bit woozy from all this clever, bitchy dialogue"--and a fine supporting cast, including the always marvelous Susan McLaughlin.

The Edwardo sections of the show focus on Thomas-Herrera's real life. He meets no famous people, engages in no Cowardy conversations, lives the desperate self-loathing life all too many sensitive, talented, unathletic men must endure in antiart, antiintellectual America. This story feels true, and Thomas-Herrera seems more relaxed telling it. Which makes me wonder why he wandered the world looking for his heart when it could be found in his own backyard.

--Jack Helbig

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  → 

Add a comment