The Jammer | Athenaeum Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

The Jammer The Short List (Theater) Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through July 1 2012

Basically Quidditch on skates, roller derby has been fighting for its share of popularity since the 1920s. Pine Box Theater's The Jammer demonstrates why the sport hasn't hit the big time: no one's figured out how to stage it right. Here, derbyers look like bozos—especially the main character, Johnny Lovington, a naive, oafish, but talented Brooklyn boy who defies his priest and shrewish girlfriend to embark on a corrupt derby tour where vulgar, hardened professionals might just ruin his sunny outlook. Rolin Jones's bloodless script cries out for wry, snappy performances, but most of the cast can't even nail down a good New York accent. And though the skating scenes are cleverly done (exaggerated side-stepping evokes the real thing), little else translates—least of all the moral of the story, which appears to be, Follow your dreams, so you learn to settle for less. —Asher Klein

Price: $28

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