Klub Kokomo | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Klub Kokomo 

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Klub Kokomo, at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie. Though Beach Boy Mike Love--proprietor of the real Klub Kokomo and this play's associate producer--couldn't attend the opening-night festivities, he was represented by an imposing number of lanky, balding middle-aged performers in blinding Hawaiian shirts impersonating bartenders, waiters, bouncers, and the like. Paul Stanley's script--about a pair of young-at-heart fortysomethings trying to rekindle their earlier romance, with the aid of meddling friends and relatives--surmounts expectations. And while most of the jokes come in the form of polite "when I was your age" reminiscences, Stanley manages a few zingers: "My generation changed the government--yours can't even change a president," quips Uncle Bobby.

It's a show that relies heavily on audience nostalgia to elicit chuckles of approval, but there's also some surprisingly deep character work. Director Richard Shavzin's cast--particularly leads Daniel Patrick Sullivan and Kelley Hazen--are excellent. Of course, lots of the excitement here comes from the nightclub setting, the bamboo furniture and faux palm branches. But if that doesn't have you hooked on a feeling, the midshow performance by 60s hipster Mark Lindsay--an a capella medley of his Paul Revere and the Raiders singles--will.

--Nick Green

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