My Penis--In and Out of Trouble | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

My Penis--In and Out of Trouble 

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With his newest solo performance, Antonio Sacre takes a huge artistic step forward--and in all likelihood commits professional suicide. My Penis--In and Out of Trouble began as nothing more than a marketing ploy. Sacre submitted the title to the New York International Fringe Festival, arguing that its provocative nature would draw press. "If they were foolish enough to accept it, I said I would write it," he explains. Thank goodness fools still run that festival. Sacre's 40-minute monologue chronicles his sexual exploits, from prepubescence to the present, from innocent sex play with his best friend in grammar school to brutal, wordless fucks as an adult. For someone who's made a career out of cute, well-crafted tales of family life, My Penis is a daring move, challenging conventional sexual mores without resorting to titillation or exploitation. Moreover, director Jenny Magnus has forced the normally animated performer to sit quietly in an overstuffed chair and tell his stories in a near monotone. Fortunately the material is gripping--and unsettling, especially when Sacre begins to discuss sexual feelings for children. He doesn't have such feelings, he takes pains to point out, but he understands how easily one could, a bracing admission in a culture that comforts itself by branding sexual deviants as monsters. If you like the show, slip Sacre an extra buck: he makes most of his income as a children's storyteller, and this piece could land him in the unemployment line. Lunar Cabaret, 2827 N. Lincoln, 773-327-6666. Friday, September 24, 10 PM. $10 or "pay what you can."

--Justin Hayford

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