Roadside Attraction | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Performing Arts Review

Roadside Attraction

by

comment

Roadside Attraction, at WNEP Theater. Kelly Kreglow's collection of comic vignettes boasts all the familiar emblems summing up what's wonderful and awful about road trips: sport bottles, dust-covered Winnebagos, obsessive-compulsive map minding, the almighty bathroom break. It's also about the tiny, precious moments that spring purely from the circumstance of traveling--the intense conversations and knock-down-drag-out arguments you tend to remember when the surroundings have faded into a blur. It makes perfect sense that the four wayward duos marooned at an Oklahoma rest stop never really connect or even express much interest in the scenery--they're too busy picking at the scabs of their dysfunctional relationships.

Jacobina Martin and Craig Degel's broad comic performances contribute to the warm, nostalgic atmosphere of their vignettes--they play off each other especially well in sketches where the relationships are distinct: two bickering retirees, an absentee father and his spoiled daughter. Less well conceived are scenes between an unlucky debutante and a highway sanitation worker and between two star-crossed lovers.

Kreglow does understand the universal truth of travel: if you can muster the strength to share a car with a friend or family member, you're tougher than most. But she struggles when it comes to writing convincing male characters, a flaw that's increasingly evident as she attempts to dig deeper into the ties that bind. A whiz at surface details, she can't manage to put emotional depth on the map.

Add a comment