It's rather amazing, what David Cale does. Not because it's so inconceivable, but because he doesn't really look as if he's capable of it. A slightly built Englishman whose receding hairline, generous nose, and huge eyes give him a distinctly birdlike aspect, Cale seems positively awkward at first. Then he just sits there for a long time, telling us--in that half-awed, half-empty voice of his--about the quietly horrific Weird family. About nagging Mrs. Weird, with her infinite disappointment. About silent Mr. Weird, with his secret stash of B and D porn magazines. And especially about little Stevie Weird, who wishes he was Judy Garland. The whole business seems so banal. A usual, if slightly cracked, sort of misery. But Cale somehow animates it. Makes it vivid, harrowing, funny. Even inspiring. Somewhere, almost imperceptibly, he loses his awkwardness and offers us a kind of absurd grace. And it's finally rather amazing. Goodman Theatre Studio, through February 7. Tuesday-Thursday, 7:30 PM; Friday Sunday, 8 PM; matinee Sunday, 2:30 PM. $15.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Paula Court.