Vegas Baby! | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Gerrit O'Neill has a great story to tell in his one-man show. He grew up in Las Vegas in the 1970s with a quaalude-popping bingo-girl mother and hard-gambling deadbeat dad. Though his parents were well-meaning, as an adolescent O'Neill was abandoned to the casino world of drinking, drugs, commercialized sex, and what he calls "air-conditioned desperation." Past shows have proved his prowess as an actor, but as a storyteller he's hamstrung by a patchy script (cowritten with director Rick DesRochers) and the misguided attempt to act out his own life, impersonating a dozen or so characters in cursory fashion. The result is curiously impersonal. If O'Neill can emerge from behind the acting and focus his narrative, he'll have a piece well worth watching. Through 8/25: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Live Bait Theater, 3914 N. Clark, 773-871-1212, $10-$15.

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