City Girl! | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

City Girl! 

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City Girl!, Neo-Futurists. The Neo-Futurists must be kicking themselves for passing on Urinetown, the hit Broadway musical originally offered to them several years back. Perhaps they're hoping to compensate by mounting City Girl!, a satirical metamusical by Noelle Krimm and Jonathan Mastro. But while this "toe-tappin' romp thru urban decay" offers its share of hip laughs and over-the-top parody, the show is rough and in need of substantial development if it's to achieve real success.

Krimm plays the title character in her "self-referential, loosely autobiographical, low-budget musical," retracing her steps from a small-town Florida upbringing to her efforts to re-create herself as an urban sophisticate. Lampooning the virulently upbeat, emotionally schematic conventions of 1960s American musical comedy--a decidedly easy target--the terminally insecure Krimm is perpetually thwarted by a stern offstage voice that criticizes her every creative impulse, labeling the show simplistic and derivative, asking her why she imagines her life to be stageworthy.

Krimm never finds an adequate answer to that question; with its perfunctory character and plot development, her 75-minute saga seems merely a sketch. And the show's solution to her insecurity-- she's replaced by a supremely confident diva--gets rid of the judgmental voice but also effectively eliminates the central dramatic conflict. Still, Krimm and her cohorts are wholly likable and deliver satisfying and at times hilarious performances despite limited musical abilities.


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