Ugly Baby: 564 Things to Do With a Peanut & Bedfellas | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Ugly Baby: 564 Things to Do With a Peanut & Bedfellas

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This Chicago Vanguard/Strawdog Theatre Company coproduction of Philip Dawkins's two one-acts explores the comic potential of mixing issues of ethnic identity and sexual orientation. In 564 Things to Do With a Peanut a gay couple tries to back out of adopting an Indian woman's baby because they find it ugly. Though Dawkins might have poked fun at wealthy Westerners who view underprivileged children as fashionable accessories, the piece gets stalled in its premise. Bedfellas--a send-up of gay and ethnic stereotypes set at the commitment ceremony of a Jewish man and his Italian boyfriend--is no less flimsy. But it's quite a bit more amusing, thanks mostly to the outrageous clowning of Stephen Rader as the Jewish and Italian mothers of the grooms. --Zac Thompson a Through 1/27: Fri-Sat 10:30 PM, Strawdog Theatre Company, 3829 N. Broadway, 773-401-3764, $10.

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