Blah Blah Fuckin Blah | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Blah Blah Fuckin Blah 

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You wouldn't guess it from this show's title, but Kristen Kosmas has a quiet, unaffected performance style. Standing alone onstage, her only props a chair and a water bottle from which she sips, Kosmas delivers her monologues simply and directly. So it's only on later reflection that you fully realize the depth of her rich, graceful, funny, resonant work. What at first seem to be beautiful but disconnected stories about women growing up in America turn out to be intricately related parables exploring the ways women are alienated from their true natures and one woman's efforts to reconnect with herself. Some, though not all, are autobiographical: "I knew this girl once," Kosmas begins the first story in the show, and you know from the quaver in her voice that the girl she's referring to is herself. (She goes on to tell of a wide-eyed third-grader who is forced by her teachers to sit in a cardboard box until her free-ranging thoughts are domesticated into "long, straight, beautiful, uninterrupted lines.") As the show progresses she subtly shifts from third person to first, and her theme changes from the awful ways people socialize kids to the question of how to cope with alienation and ambivalence. All of which culminates in her encounter with a male philosophy professor who asks her, among other inane questions, "Do you find that men interrupt women when they are talking?" She answers, "Yes, men interrupt me when I'm talking, and when I'm walking, and when I'm writing, sleeping, breathing, and when I'm just about to come." Kosmas delivers the line with an unconcerned offhandedness that only makes it funnier. Splinter Group Studio, 1937 W. Division, 342-7656. September 10 through 26: Fridays-Sundays, 8 PM. $10.

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