Letting Go of God | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Letting Go of God 

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Saturday Night Live alum Julia Sweeney combines a stand-up's shrewd timing with a monologuist's attention to detail in this autobiographical solo show about her "knowledge pilgrimage" from Catholicism to atheism. Sweeney starts with her seventh birthday--when her dad told her, "You've reached the age of reason ... now God will start keeping notes on you"--and chronicles a lifetime of moral questing and questioning. Some of the story is lightweight: recollections of her childhood identification with Hollywood-nun role models and her adolescent attraction to the picture she kept in her bedroom of a sexy, shaggy-haired Jesus. But most of it is humorous and serious in equal measure. Grounding the narrative in her relationships with her parents, her dead brother, and her adopted Chinese daughter, Sweeney weighs conflicting notions of a God both loving and judgmental and asks whether existence is shaped by intelligent design or pure chance. Ultimately the show transcends theological debate, focusing on the shared need to understand why we're here and where we're going. a Sat 6/16, 3 PM, and Sun 6/17, 11 AM, Lakeshore Theater, 3175 N. Broadway, 773-472-3492, $30, $25 in advance.

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