The Second Coming of Joan of Arc | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The Second Coming of Joan of Arc

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THE SECOND COMING OF JOAN OF ARC, Will Act for Food Productions, at Voltaire. It's not easy being a saint. Apparently it's not easy being Carolyn Gage either. The thesis of her one-woman play The Second Coming of Joan of Arc is that all female pain and pathology stems from male domination, and she issues a strident caveat to women who think otherwise.

One can't expect rational argument from a character who declares, "I practiced my anger like some people practice the piano." And when such anachronisms as baseball and The Wizard of Oz are co-opted in the interests of misandrist oratory, it's obvious that this Joan has nothing to do with Orleans and everything to do with Gage's personal pique. "My mistakes are your mistakes--listen to me!" Joan declaims. "My voices are your voices!" The results resemble nothing so much as a 60-minute tantrum by a decidedly unpleasant adolescent.

Making their debut with this production, the Will Act for Food artists attempt some mitigation, director Lisa Hackman contributing visual and kinetic novelty and actress Kelly Grady almost redeeming the drivel she's forced to utter. But any fair assessment of this company's potential will have to wait. --Mary Shen Barnidge

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