Patsy's Bridal Shower | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Patsy's Bridal Shower

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Theatre Eclectic, at Leonardo's.

Set in a pizza parlor instead of a tacky banquet hall and focusing on a bridal shower instead of a wedding reception, Patsy's Bridal Shower, like Tony 'n' Tina's Wedding, is an exercise in camp, exposing for our entertainment other people's flaws and foolish rituals. But the resemblance ends there.

While Tony 'n' Tina re-creates in loving detail a blue-collar Italian wedding filled with characters who seem at first to be stereotypes but then deepen into something more, Patsy's Bridal Shower gives us a handful of cliches: rich WASPs from Oakbrook, tacky lounge lizards, a white-trash family from Aurora. Then it proves just how tedious it can be to see actors trying to wring laughs out of fart jokes, hillbilly accents, and upper-crust shopping habits.

Playwrights Nick Kurasz and Richard Schultz clearly have nothing but contempt for their silly, shallow characters. And it shows in how little care they take to make the Tuckers or the Berensons seem real, and in how little effort they put into making this seem like an actual bridal shower and not, say, a craven attempt to cash in on the success of Tony 'n' Tina.

It's also clear that Kurasz and Schultz have no respect for their unsuspecting audience, who end up paying $35 for about five dollars' worth of pizza and two and a half hours of "entertainment" that's way too tiresome and stupid even for TV.

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