The Jackie Sexknife Show | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The Jackie Sexknife Show

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The Jackie Sexknife Show, Crooked Twilight Theatre Company, at the Performance Loft. In Martin Mundt's play, serial killers are just folks who have to find dates, deal with feisty victims, and try to be creative in a world where too many murderers are running around. The concept could be funny, but here it isn't. Instead Mundt tells a muddled, grindingly dull story about Neil (Brad Lawrence), known as the Cassette Killer because he audiotapes his victims as he's eviscerating them, and his romantic encounters with another serial killer, Ellie (Cheryl Kujawinski, the best thing about the show).

Neil is a schizophrenic--his knife, Jackie Sexknife, talks to him in the weedy voice of a 1950s television comic--who unaccountably loses his taste for killing. In the meantime he stashes a potential victim, Jan (the buff Jill Matarelli), in his basement. Like her, we suffer through cliched dialogue, strange gibes at S/M culture, some odd feints at feminism, and a lot of supposedly humorous psychobabble about the source of the serial-killer mentality: Multiple rapes as a child? A perverted, controlling mother?

Surprisingly, considering the subject, there's no tension here. Will he kill her? We don't care. The play is almost, but not quite, redeemed by a bravura fight scene at the end, choreographed with wit and much gratuitous blood by Matarelli and Jason Kaplan.

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