Will Sell Out for Money | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Will Sell Out for Money

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WILL SELL OUT FOR MONEY, at the Playground Theater. Thea Lux's comic one-woman show is shocking in the best possible sense. A good liberal, she still manages to joke about abortion, physical disabilities, and other sacred cows, making us think about our preconceptions. But what Lux is really interested in is the way that people seek fame, money, and corporate sponsorship while avoiding responsibility for their fellow humans. Acerbic sketches, goofy slide presentations, and clever songs, usually accompanied by a tight eight-piece band, make her point.

In the Playground's new space, the band occasionally overwhelms Lux--which is too bad since her lyrics are worth hearing. In "Rose Colored Glasses" she sings, "When I turn my head, there are less people dead." She also croons cheerily that at least 9/11 brought Americans together. In one sketch she's a sports announcer who must constantly revise her play-by-play commentary as different athletes--and eventually entire teams--are bought by corporations. In the quirkiest, cleverest scene, Lux uses a puppet, Banana Peel, to advocate for prop rights. "Where would we be," Banana Peel asks, "without Long Ladder carried over someone's shoulder?"

Dave Buckman's staging is sometimes unevenly paced and doesn't flow well from scene to scene. Overall the show provides more of a chuckle than a belly laugh--still, it's a chuckle worth having.

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