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Tooth of Crime (Second Dance)

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In 1996 Sam Shepard rewrote his 1972 rock 'n' roll/cowboy/gangster/sci-fi fantasy The Tooth of Crime, stripping down the turgid, hallucinogenic battle between superstar blues rocker Hoss and upstart "Gypsy Killer" Crow, whose desperately sought-after hits may be pop songs, murders, or both. He also got T-Bone Burnett to rescore it. But this leaner, meaner fable about fame, identity, and spiritual decay is fat and flaccid under Nic Diamond's inattentive direction. As Hoss and Crow, Carmine Grisolia and John Henry Roberts fidget, pace, and bellow as they try to achieve a rock-star swagger, and by the end of two and half hours their elliptical, lingo-heavy dialogue has degenerated into incomprehensibility. The strong but largely incidental supporting cast can't offer much help. Through 5/27: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Sun 7 PM, Strawdog Theatre Company, 3829 N. Broadway, 773-528-9696, $15-$20.

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