Psycho Beach Party | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Psycho Beach Party


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Charles Busch's 80-minute beach-blanket travesty covers a lot of ground, spoofing Hitchcock films, surfer stereotypes, Eisenhower-era repression, homosexual panic, and the use of mental illness as a plot device. Perkily irreverent, Busch's one-act requires unstoppable energy and well-targeted mugging to ride the waves of comedy to the shore of success, and Michael Buino's affectionate staging for A Reasonable Facsimile Theatre Company captures the craziness. Tina Haglund patents Tinsel Town buyer's remorse as a runaway Marilyn Monroe-style movie star, Steve Hickson rampages from one B-movie cliche to another as a Malibu matron with a Technicolor past, and Steve Truncale exudes beatnik wisdom as Kanaka, the philosopher who can hang five. Keely Flynn in the challenging central role of Chicklet, a Gidget with multiple personalities, is appropriately labile but needs to better differentiate the dominatrix, the sassy checkout girl, the talk show hostess, and the mousy virgin. Through 8/6: Fri-Sat 11 PM. Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 W. Belmont, 773-327-5252. $11-$15.

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