The Bear Suit of Happiness | DANK Haus | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

The Bear Suit of Happiness Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through March 30 2013

Three gay U.S. soldiers stationed in the Pacific in 1943 are ordered to stage a drag show for troops about to be deployed to the front—they're tasked with making a safe queer world, in other words, in infinitely hostile surroundings. It's a great idea for a play, but this New Colony premiere doesn't give enough context for the conceit to work. Playwright Evan Linder provides hardly a glimpse of the broader intolerance that seems to fuel the trio's every transgressive act, and the unwieldy mix of poetic fantasy and grim comedy produces an inconsistent tone. Director Sean Kelly puts his tiny stage in the middle of Dank Haus's huge community room, where the show can't help but look like a school pageant. —Justin Hayford

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