They're Playing Our Song | Rivendell Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

They're Playing Our Song The Short List (Theater) Image Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Aug. 20 2017

Just about every number by Broadway legend Marvin Hamlisch in this 1978 semiautobiographical romantic comedy, loosely based on his real-life courtship with collaborator Carole Bayer Sager, sounds like a sitcom theme song. That's not necessarily a bad thing, especially if the kitsch factor is embraced, but this Brown Paper Box Co. production, directed and choreographed by Daniel Spagnuolo, attempts to play it straight, with chintzy, piped-in keyboards and downplayed variations on book writer Neil Simon's zingers. In an attempt to mitigate the script's cheesiness, actor Dan Gold transforms Hamlisch from a nerdy savant into a sarcastic jackass, and as Sager, Carmen Risi doesn't fare much better, stuck with rake-effect gags that offer diminishing returns. The vocals in a few ensemble numbers shine, surrounded by two hours of schmaltz. —Dan Jakes

Price: $27

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