Make Me a Song: A Musical Revue | Athenaeum Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Max DeTogne, David Belew, Jessica Fisher, and Katherine Condit

Max DeTogne, David Belew, Jessica Fisher, and Katherine Condit

Jeff Dull

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through July 10 2016
Price: $27, $17 students and seniors
eclectic-theatre.com
This intimate revue features more than 30 songs by brilliant composer-lyricist William Finn (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), whose songs address offbeat topics with driving, sometimes jittery rhythms, soaring melodies, and idiosyncratic lyrics that mix deep emotion and acerbic irony. Eclectic Full Contact Theatre's bare-bones production, directed by Christopher Pazdernik, features a strong cast—David Belew, Katherine Condit, Max DeTogne, and Jessica Fisher—under the musical direction of pianist Micky York. The 95-minute one-act's centerpiece is a suite from Falsettos, Finn's landmark opera about a mixed-up gay man's relationships with his boyfriend, ex-wife, and adolescent son during the early years of the AIDS epidemic. Other material is drawn from less-familiar sources, including A New Brain, Elegies (Finn's response to 9/11), and Romance in Hard Times. Condit's blistering rendition of that show's "All Fall Down," about a Depression-era woman whose boyfriends "flew out the window" after the stock market crash, is a highlight. And DeTogne, a wonderful pop tenor, shines in the Billy Joel-esque "Hitchhiking Across America," in which a gay man recalls his sexual adventures on the road before he met the lifelong lover he never saw coming. —Albert Williams

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