Wide Open Beaver Shot of My Heart, a Comedy With a Body Count | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Wide Open Beaver Shot of My Heart, a Comedy With a Body Count

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A subtle, wearying darkness has always lurked beneath Ian Belknap's droll, literary comic monologues, and in his new solo piece he looks that darkness square in the face. Twenty years ago his adored grandfather was murdered, a crime that's never been solved, and not long afterward his 40-year-old alcoholic father killed himself. Now that Belknap--an admittedly cynical, rageful former boozer--has almost reached that age, he's begun a memoir to "tease apart the threads of myself from the lethal snarl of my family story." Sitting behind a table, he reads his preliminary, eviscerating musings on the subject, ever mindful of the self-destructive genes he's inherited. The hour-long performance is biting, hilarious, agonizing, self-deprecating, and thrillingly ennobling and human in its conclusion. Through 10/22: Sat 9 PM. North theater. $15 or "pay what you can."

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