The Hick, the Spick and the Chick
As priests have probably known for centuries, listening to confessional storytelling gets old real fast. But not the way Paul Turner, Antonio Sacre, and Donna Jay Fulks tell stories. Their tag-team approach to autobiographical performance transforms this potentially onanistic art into a community event. Like a group of friends whiling away the evening on a front porch or a trio of jazz musicians jamming after hours, Turner, Sacre, and Fulks take turns, riffing on the stories that came before them and setting the stage for the ones to come after. The night I saw these three perform last summer, Sacre's hilarious account of being elected Hispanic boy of the year--though he spoke almost no Spanish and thought of himself as Irish-Catholic because he lived with his Irish mother at the time--paved the way for Fulks's brooding meditation on the sudden death of her father and how her family coped. This in turn prepared the audience for Turner's bittersweet, darkly comic reminiscences of adolescence in economically depressed Paducah, Kentucky, as he slowly realized there was no future for him--once he'd blown his chances at the local hardware chain store. Their synergistic style of performing proved so successful that the show just ran and ran, until Fulks's pregnancy became so advanced they had to close it. Now, a little more than a year later, Sacre, Turner, and Fulks have been invited to perform at the New York International Fringe Festival--one of two Chicago companies participating--and will reprise their show for one night only to raise money for the trip. Strawdog Theatre Company, 3829 N. Broadway, 773-528-9696. Sunday, August 10, 7 PM. $10. --Jack Helbig
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo by Rebecca McBride.