Southside | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


In her debut as a solo artist, writer-performer Dee Bolos treads some of the same ground as Mike Houlihan in Goin' East on Ashland, his hit one-man show about growing up in Chicago's Irish-Catholic enclave. But Bolos's perspective is distinctly female: clearly influenced by (and sometimes strikingly reminiscent of) Lily Tomlin, she focuses on the lives of schoolgirls and soccer moms in a series of sometimes hilarious, sometimes poignant sketches. Her characters are misfits: "I don't want to live in a home that could realistically be carried away to another part of town on a flatbed truck," declares one, but her tone is more plaintive than rebellious. Ill at ease in their insular world, they're also a little too burdened with Catholic guilt to completely defy their upbringing. So they compromise--and the resulting inappropriateness and incongruity form the basis of Bolos's comedy. In one scene a sweet young woman blurts out at a family reunion that she's a lesbian; in another, a child plays "pimps and hos" with her Barbie dolls. A more serious sketch addresses domestic abuse, while in the show's outrageous climax, a PTA meeting turns into a vibrator raffle party. Bolos is an engaging comic, seemingly laid-back though her timing is sharp, and her often raunchy jokes are balanced by an appealing sweetness. Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division, 773-342-6777. September 13-15: Friday, 9 PM; Saturday-Sunday, 7 PM. $5.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Jason Robinette.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Add a comment