Cordially Dead, with Full Buffet | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Cordially Dead, with Full Buffet 

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CORDIALLY DEAD, WITH FULL BUFFET, Annoyance Theatre. The latest production at the Annoyance is an unimaginative vision of the afterlife in which Andy Warhol hosts a party for dead celebrities. Guests at the performance I attended included casually researched, coarsely acted versions of Truman Capote, Frida Kahlo, Patsy Cline, Lizzy Borden, and Sigmund Freud. Edith Piaf was listed but did not appear. Sloppy improvisation slowed down the play's tedious progress through jokes about underwear, body odor, body parts, lingering neuroses, and uninspired sexual pairings.

The audience laughed more as they got progressively drunker, but they were pretty quiet for the most part despite the actors' mugging. The atmosphere of the place seemed more important than the play. The smoky air, the clinking sounds of metal and glass, and the occasional grunted comment ("Oh, man, Freud is baked!") were an annoying accompaniment to the undisciplined performances.

With more thought and rehearsal the premise of this production might have been made interesting. But as it stands this boring and amateurish play only proves the rule that the dead are best left to rest in peace.

--Carol Burbank

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