Sweet and Hot: The Songs of Harold Arlen | No Exit Cafe | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Sweet and Hot: The Songs of Harold Arlen Member Picks The Short List (Theater) Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through Aug. 15 2010

The strengths of Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre's evening of Harold Arlen tunes are obvious: six singers ranging from good to astonishing, music director Steve Carson's tasty piano accompaniment, booze for purchase, and 37 songs from a composer so innovative that even George Gershwin was reportedly baffled when he first heard Arlen's unconventional chord structures. But the weaknesses are equally apparent. Director Fred Anzevino interjects a lot of unclear, unconvincing stage business--the singers hang out in a bar, sometimes, maybe, and sort of have fleeting crushes on one another--and David Heimann's choreography is perfunctory in conception and execution. Worse, the performers rarely have a moment to pause for breath, let alone capture a deep psychological moment, while cramming all those songs into two hours. --Justin Hayford

Price: $15-$25

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