The Broken Gay Folk Revue | Annoyance Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

The Broken Gay Folk Revue The Short List (Theater) Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thursdays. Continues through July 31 2014

Mike Gifford's one-man show features (somewhat) staged bits and anecdotes interspersed with songs by Ross W. Berman IV, who also sings a few. The small room's acoustics were such that I missed some of the lines to Gifford's opening number, where (I think) he explains what it is to be a "broken"—i.e., unstereotypical—gay man (he likes sports, he lacks style, etc). But in the second half the show picks up speed with his anticlimactic coming-out tale and hilarious story of a meeting with a BDSM aficionado. For me the strongest moments were those when Gifford holds back on the didacticism or shtick ("I'm nebbish but not Jewish") and allows an endearing vulnerability to shine through, which together with lyrics like those to "Set My Body Free" ("I got this body and it's tired of me"), shows the universality of self-loathing and identity seeking—if Gifford's broken, so are we all. —Suzanne Scanlon

Price: $12, $10 for students



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