Floss! | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Floss! 

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Totally tongue-in-cheek but never breaking character, Corn Productions' elaborate depiction of a fictitious civilization in peril has been going strong since August 2000. Two and a half years later it's lost none of its quirky sense of fun, from the batik-inspired costumes to the hilariously generic tribal choreography to the "flossary" of useful expressions. (For this ethnic group, "death" and "love" mean the same thing.) During its 60 rampaging minutes, Floss! exploits dance--interpretive, interactive, jazz, and pseudoethnic--as well as chants and folk anthems to chronicle the epic migrations of the Beboian people (pronounced "peeyupall") from one island to another, clumsily assimilating with Asian, African, Scandinavian, and finally Canadian cultures: they were following their "floss," or destiny, no matter where it led. Now their most recent home, an island in the middle of Lake Manitoba, is threatened with submersion; Floss! itself is a fund-raiser meant to preserve both the island and the Beboian way of life, which revolves around eel fishing and dancing. With sly jabs at Riverdance, Stomp, and Blue Man Group, this oh-so-fervent celebration of an elusive diversity remains a very un-PC hoot. Who could fail to enjoy the eel celebration, in which audience members get to wave symbolic blue and black ribbons in honor of the Beboians' sole industry? I guess there's nothing like returning to roots that don't exist. Cornservatory, 4210 N. Lincoln, 312-409-6435. Open run: Saturdays, 8 PM. $12.

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