Arm Soup: The Story of How Five People Went West and Ate Each Other | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Arm Soup: The Story of How Five People Went West and Ate Each Other 

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This uneven musical updates the story of the Donner party--the juicy parts, anyway--with a contemporary posse who abandon the "boring and gay" Lorami, Illinois, for California. An old-timey narrator (Mark Vannier in one of several fresh turns) offers historical context, though this party's members and travails are thoroughly modern. After a food fight and a gruesome stop at Taco Bell, the travelers are out of supplies and the goreless but sexualized cannibalism begins. The quick pace set by director Pat O'Brien works well with the indefatigable cast, but too often the performers' comedic moxie is wasted; the fireworks-selling Wade Boggs character, for example, is superfluous. This show doesn't quite reach the promised land, but at least it's an ambitious, entertaining ride. --Ryan Hubbard a Open run: Fri-Sat 10:30 PM, Annoyance Theatre, 4840 N. Broadway, 773-561-4665, $15.

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