A Temporary World | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

A Temporary World 

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A Temporary World, Stephen Daedelus Productions, at Wing & Groove Theatre. Acting may have its rewards, but for 99 percent of practitioners, it's a terrible way to make a living. This compilation of stories written by Tim Joyce, directed by Joyce Fox, and based on the experiences of the show's three actress-roommates--Patricia Austin, Amanda Howard, and Vicky Reigo de Dios--shows actors' daily struggles to pay the rent and endure temp-job "I went to college for this?" environments.

Joyce divides the time between anecdotes and onstage interplay between the women. This choice has plenty of dramatic potential, but the results are choppy and unsatisfying. The stories, narrated by one woman and enacted by the other two, are cute but underdeveloped, predictable (young women's asses get pinched--it's a fact of life), and in some cases exaggerated beyond even comedic plausibility. The women's onstage interactions demonstrate jealousy, irritation, and compassion, but the expression is too compartmentalized--almost a one-emotion-per-scene allocation--to seem genuine. Most disheartening, the women don't seem to progress beyond their initial self-pitying victim mode.

This might be good therapy for viewers who are starving artists--misery loves company--but others will probably have a better time exploring the intricate cartoon details of Daniel V. Bigelow's set and lobby exhibit (inspired by Heather McAdams and Svengoolie). Both are far more complex and energized than anything that happens onstage.

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