The True Ballad of Fall's Blessings | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The True Ballad of Fall's Blessings

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A cross between Nicholas Nickleby, HBO's occult Carnivale series, Charlie Daniels's "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," any number of fairy tales, and lots of other things I can't quite put my finger on, The True Ballad of Fall's Blessings has the makings of an endearingly eccentric entertainment. It should be a hell of a show when it's finished. As it stands, though, we're given just enough to let us know that too much is missing. This new musical about inspired quests, magic talismans, and mysterious strangers at large on the American frontier has huge holes that make it impossible to get crucial information. What's the secret of the talismans? Who are the spirit-musicians that appear from time to time? And that scary Mr. Parker: Satan or what? The book, score, and Nic Dimond's clever production got me hooked but left me hanging. Through 7/23: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Sun 7 PM. Strawdog Theatre Company, 3829 N. Broadway, 773-528-9696. $15-$20.

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