Invasion of the Minnesota Normals | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Invasion of the Minnesota Normals 

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Writer-director Jen Ellison takes as her tired subject the oppressive conformism of the 1950s in this not terribly funny comedy. A housewife has an unsettling encounter with two people certified normal by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, a test that corporate America has used to determine a potential employee's normalcy--or lack thereof. Ellison means to show the arbitrary nature of such systems of human taxonomy and the way a bland conception of normalcy stifles personal freedom. But in this WNEP Theater production, she shies away from the comic risks that would make freethinking seem the attractive alternative to conformity. Tepid and rather solemn, the play tries to make a case for individuality without exhibiting any. Through 6/10: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 7 PM, Apollo Theater, studio, 2540 N. Lincoln, 773-935-6100, $15-$18.

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