Tent Meeting | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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If the clan in this play had been Jewish, Catholic, Muslim, or Buddhist, no theater would have touched it. But since its leader is an amen-snorting Arkansas preacher as cruelly abusive as his two children are passive and dim-witted, playgoers can enjoy a guilt-free chortle at the droll antics of these stereotypical rubes. What undoes Larry Larson, Levi Lee, and Rebecca Wackler's 1983 script is not its cartoon sensibility, however, but its eleventh-hour attempt to impose spiritual issues on caricatures ham-handed enough to have been lifted from an Al Capp comic strip. Director Chris Arnold snatches a few empathetic moments from the hee-haws but can't truly rescue a sermon gone grotesquely astray. --Mary Shen Barnidge a Through 6/3: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM, Circle Theatre, 7300 W. Madison, Forest Park, 708-771-0700, $21-$23.

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