Anton in Show Business | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Anton in Show Business 

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This show is such a breath of fresh air I hardly know where to begin. Playwright Jane Martin (the pseudonymous author of Talking With . . . ) has somehow packed a dissertation's worth of observations on the absurdity of contemporary theater into the script, which follows an ill-starred San Antonio production of Three Sisters. But thanks to her featherlight, razor-sharp touch, the satire unfolds effortlessly, avoiding every overreach yet leaving damn near nothing unsaid. The sparkling all-female cast, under Marcus Kamie's direction, give performances informed by firsthand knowledge of the actor's life, but never succumb to self-pity or self-involvement. Especially impressive are Franette Liebow and Alison Weiss, in cross-casting turns that go so far beyond simple parody of the gender trick that I found myself reconsidering my cynicism about the whole phenomenon. In short, BackStage Theatre Company has mounted both the funniest and smartest show I've seen in a while--don't miss it. Through 3/13: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM. Heartland Studio Theater, 7016 N. Glenwood, 312-683-5347. $12-$15.

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