Born Ready | The Factory Theater | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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Michael Courier

When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through April 29 2017
Price: $25, $18 students and seniors
Who’d expect the trash-championing Factory Theater to mount an unabashedly sentimental comedy with legit dance numbers, heart-on-the-sleeve romance, and only a couple veiled vagina jokes? Stacie Barra’s charming, well-crafted homage to 1950s backstage intrigue films (think a kinder, gentler All About Eve) focuses on former child film star Marion Kroft’s struggle to restart her alcohol-steeped career in television variety shows. With the unlikely assistance of enthusiastic chorus girl Harriet, whose Iowa naivete may mask questionable motives, Kroft finds legit stardom looming. Like most of the cast, Eleanor Katz as Kroft and Clara Byczkowski as Harriet cleverly lampoon midcentury cinematic acting tropes without compromising the script’s sincere emotions. While director Wm. Bullion occasionally struggles to find adequately snappy pacing, his two-hour production is graceful and endearing. —Justin Hayford

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