Nickel History: The Nation of Heat Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Aug. 5 2012

Late in this discursive multimedia collage, the third such collaboration between coauthors Tony Fitzpatrick and Stan Klein, Fitzpatrick recounts the day he drove Crazy Frank, a bookie's collector, to coerce payment from a recalcitrant client. It's gruesome, bracing, and inexplicably sad. It's also one of the few episodes in this insistently tangential piece with enough telling detail to feel psychologically full. Too often the pair, backed by live jazz, video projections, and a wandering 1940s pinup girl, touch perfunctorily on disparate topics: their lousy teenage jobs, their fathers' service in World War II, Native American religious beliefs, haiku, starlings, New Orleans, the Cubs, Disco Demolition at Comiskey. Little connects or progresses. Fitzpatrick, as usual, has charisma to spare. Klein could use some. —Justin Hayford

Price: $27

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