GayCo Behind Bars | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

GayCo Behind Bars 

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GayCo Behind Bars, GayCo Productions, at Stage Left Theatre. This time around the Farce is not with this gay-themed troupe. The connecting theme--bar life--remains generic, undermined by sparsely detailed, scattershot sketches. Assorted puns on "Klub Uranus" die aborning. However, a catty male quartet of club kids crooning the empty pleasures of "passing judgment" should become a GayCo classic, and a promo for an "edgy" gay cable network hilariously spoofs the vacuities of Queer as Folk and other mainstream minority fare.

Most of the skits begin well but end weakly or too early or outlast their welcome. A bit about a lonely lesbian teenager counseled by visitors from a futuristic gay utopia succumbs to smug revisionism. A lavender take on Harry Potter dwindles into a lame same-sex education vignette. A production number about gays who overcompensate at work needs details, not repetition. And the predicament of a straight evil-genius paraplegic who appropriates a gay man's legs, which take him to places he hates, is obvious and almost offensive.

The better jokes aren't necessarily gay related. John Bonny's depiction of a sad-faced, elaborately defective clone would be funny in any revue. So would a rap song meant to recruit kids into craving government-issued subcutaneous chips, though its satirical premise is unaccountably undeveloped. Also amusing was a blues ballad about how hard it is to be a feminist in jail. As directed by Jim Zulevic, these seven merry pranksters are funnier than their material.

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