The Life and Times of Jewboy Cain: Jewboy Rejux | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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The Life and Times of Jewboy Cain: Jewboy Rejux

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Jeff Dorchen has spent his career goring sacred cows. And when he runs out of victims, he gores himself, as he did in his brilliant 1995 one-man show, The Life and Times of Jewboy Cain. Cain delivers his rambling confessional monologue--which Dorchen insists has "12 percent new material" in its Rhino fest incarnation--to a callow young man who's about to evict him. The sad irony is that at first Cain believes his persecutor is famed music historian Alan Lomax, come to document Cain's work and revive his flagging career. On the one hand the show's caustic, alienated, highly opinionated but very funny main character is a vicious and convincing caricature of Dorchen himself. On the other, Jewboy Cain lashes out at artists who exploit identity politics. Dorchen implicitly compares Cain to other musicians who loved to tweak their fans' sensibilities. But unlike Phil Ochs or Bob Dylan, Cain has found only obscurity--and even, Dorchen hints, oblivion. Then again, as Jonathan Swift proved centuries ago, you can't be both popular and a successful satirist. a 10/28-10/30: Fri-Sun, 7 PM. Prop Thtr, 3502-4 N. Elston, 773-267-6660. $15, or "pay what you can."

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