Portrait of a Shiksa | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Portrait of a Shiksa

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Gentile/Jewish romantic relationships have been a staple of theater at least since Abie's Irish Rose, Anne Nichols's 1922 comedy. And Sharon Evans's sweet but slight piece, first presented by Live Bait in 1989, has a distinctly retro feel, as small-town Tennessee party girl Adelle discovers an erotic fixation on Jewish men during a Holy Land trip with her Bible-thumping mama. Mark Richard directs with a sprightly hand, and the cast, particularly Erin Myers as the good-hearted but somewhat clueless Adelle, exudes likability. But the script's overreliance on stereotypes and preserved-in-aspic jokes about Tammy Faye Bakker and Jesse Helms work against it. And it's disappointing that Adelle's journey actually makes her less interesting at the end than she is at the beginning: she goes from doubting to born-again to fallen-away Christian and from sassy wig stylist to breast-enhanced star of "The New Beverly Hillbillies." Through 8/7: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM. Live Bait Theater, 3914 N. Clark, 773-871-1212. $15-$20.

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