Oz the Urbantale | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Oz the Urbantale

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Writer-director Kevin Foose's satire on the evils of gentrification for Why a Duck Theatrical Productions has some obvious problems: a rambling script, awkward performances, nearly nonexistent direction. The nine chorus members who slump onstage to provide mostly unison vocals seem so ill at ease they might have been rounded up in an alley before the show. But such amateurism creates a rawness befitting this gritty reworking of The Wizard of Oz: Dorothy, kicked out of Cabrini-Green, stumbles toward City Hall intent on assassinating the mayor, accompanied by panhandler Rags, Dumpster diver Tin-Can Man, sexual-abuse survivor Scaredy-Fuckin Cat, and the perpetually bored Ratty-Ass Dog. Composer Eric Foose's parodies of the film's songs are serviceable, but his stirring Woody Guthrie-esque anthem "I Ain't Got No Home" shows how much potential the show squanders. Through 10/30: Fri-Sat 10:30 PM. National Pastime Theater, 4139 N. Broadway, 773-327-7077. $12.

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