Night of Mime | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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The success of StreetSigns' Night of the Mime earlier this year demonstrated just how eager Chicago audiences are for a parody of Northwestern University's Performance Studies credo--a perfectly serviceable page-to-stage adaptation technique but ludicrously overused in these parts. (If you've seen ten plays north of Fullerton Avenue in the last ten years, trust me--you'll recognize the approach.) Night of the Mime isn't just a 90-minute inside joke, however. George Brant's clever satire on the Old Yeller-Yearling-Charlotte's Web school of juvenile fiction delivers plenty of laughs, tossed off with deadpan seriousness by the precision-drilled cast--enough to please both lovers and haters of the white-faced tribe. George Fuller is all innocent charm as the feral mime of the title, and Laura Sollman St. John (who exhibits enough grotesque facial expressions to supply the entire Mummenschanz team) is more than his match as the farm child who adopts him--though playwright Brant and director Derek Goldman, now alternating in the role of the wayward Widow Walker, may give them both a run for their money. Griffin Theatre Company, Calo Theatre, 5404 N. Clark, 296-1875. Open run: Fridays-Saturdays, 10:30 PM. $10.

--Mary Shen Barnidge

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