Duets for My Valentine | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Duets for My Valentine 

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Rest easy: this second annual program of duets for Valentine's Day has something for everyone, even those convinced that love stinks. Julia Rhoads and Holly Quinn's Royal Flush is an excruciating and excruciatingly funny expose of the fairy-tale illusion that women are princesses waiting to be rescued and men are knights in shining armor. Wearing ball gowns reminiscent of those the heroines wore in the Disney cartoon features, Quinn and Rhoads play Cinderella and Snow White; their leading men are Styrofoam heads sporting really bad wigs. You'd never know their princes might be inadequate from the ecstatic looks on the women's faces, though eventually their ecstasy turns to catty competition and disillusionment. Campy and satirical, Royal Flush shows plenty of theatrical savvy in the women's acting and their use of props and space. The bill--an intended "aphrodisiac" once again presented by impresario/massage therapist Bob Barrett--also includes Same Planet Different World's subversive Concello, premieres by the Anatomical Theatre and August Tye, a collaboration between Amy Crandall and Anna Wagner, Jennifer Grisham's Surfaces, Jan Bartoszek's The Story's Body, a new duet by former Chicagoan Regina Klenjoski, Phoenix Dance Theatre's contemporary ballet pas de deux, a swing duet by Billy Siegenfeld, Eduardo Vilaro's tango piece Birds of Prey, and a Puerto Rican salsa dance by Caroline Walsh and Orlando Cancel. Saturday at 8 and Sunday at 3 and 7 at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport; $20. Call 312-902-1500 for tickets, 773-935-6860 for information, including group rates.

--Laura Molzahn

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Royal Flush still (uncredited).


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