peteg's blog - noise - theatre - 2014 12 22 DesperateDolls

Strawdog Theatre Company: Desperate Dolls

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Goldstar ticket: $7.50 + $3.00 service fee = $10.50. I walked in the rain with Christian-from-work down to Lake and got totally lost on the way to the Red Line platform at State and Lake; the signage in the Chicago pedway leaves a bit to be desired. It was totally packed, as was the train until the Fullerton stop, where people switch to the long-haul Purple. I schlepped from Sheridan down to the theatre on Broadway, stopping for dinner at the pleasantly downmarket Asian Mix Cafe. Their Thai-style laksa (yellow curry and maggi noodles) was tasty.

I got to Strawdog ridiculously early, thinking that it was a 7.30pm show. Over another Revolution Eugene Porter (in a can) and a Guinness-brewed Irish Ale (in a bottle), I kept ploughing through Emily Witt's piece in n+1's ten-year compilation, of which, more later. It, like this play, was long on exploitation and somewhat dubiously proud of being so. The actresses here were quite game and at times it took on a sort-of guilty pleasure aspect with many bum notes. Joe Mack as Sunny Jack had some funny bits, not the least being his Burt Reynolds-inspired coiffure. The ladies were valliant L.A. women, and Jim Poole was quite creepy. Being almost closed, it was standing room only, with people leaning against the bar at the back.

Reviews are plentiful: Nina Metz, Tony Adler at the Reader, a couple at Chicago Stage Standard, Amien Essif at Gaper's Block. Jacob Davis got into it less than anyone. Despite his assessment, I think there's enough desire and raw material for a Russ Meyer revival proper, with a theatrical release. It's a shame Ebert isn't around etc.

Getting home was a fiasco. Some earlier fiasco led to some ambiguity about whether the Addison Red Line station was functioning. (The CTA has monitors all along the platform there, but the PSAs are shown for about two seconds between endless advertisements.) The train, when it came, skipped us, but after a few minutes reversed back to the platform. Much cheering ensued. I walked home from Clybourn/North in the drizzle. Somehow it is still not properly cold, unlike Halloween.