Pushed: A Comedy About Living on the Edge | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Pushed: A Comedy About Living on the Edge

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Pushed: A Comedy About Living on the Edge, Intuitive Productions, at the Playground Theater. Written by Jim Bennett and Celeste Pechous, Pushed is a play about two writers, Jim and Celeste, who set out to write a play about two work buddies named Dale and Nancy. Like most writers, Jim and Celeste spend a lot of time talking about their play and thinking of ways to avoid actually writing it. Oh, a scene emerges from time to time, but as opening night approaches, the two scribblers despair of having anything to show.

Since playwrights Bennett and Pechous play not only Jim and Celeste but Dale and Nancy, it takes a while for us to orient ourselves to the play's various levels--far too long, in fact. This 60-minute work provides only minimal costume and prop changes--and much miming of office machines--to distinguish the couples and their milieus. Fortunately Bennett and Pechous are both likable performers practiced at comic shtick: when Dale fears their high-rise will be attacked by terrorists, Nancy teases him by mimicking the sound of an air-raid siren. And the set is adorned with an assortment of tchotchkes--cute coffee mugs, stuffed animals, pens, posters, figurines--that provides amusement for those intrigued by the narrative conceit and distraction for those who don't get it until the show is nearly over.

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