Patty Red Pants | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Patty Red Pants 

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In Trista Baldwin's Red Riding Hood-derived erotic allegory, Patty and her friend Becky grapple with their awakening sexuality while processing a peer's murder in the woods. Baldwin's snappy teen vernacular and winding poetic images allow Blackbird Productions' expert cast--Lois Mathilda Atkins, Salena Hanrahan, and Wil Fleming as various manifestations of the wolf--to express the allure and danger of losing one's innocence. In short, the wolf is everywhere--in Mormon stepfathers, in leering biology teachers, in first loves--and sometimes he's welcome (suck on that, Brothers Grimm). Kristin Reeves's video images of flames licking wolf-ridden forests amplify the mood, though the tree trunks in which the monitors are embedded obstruct our views. As richly as Baldwin conveys the girls' inner lives, however, she struggles to resolve the story, reducing it finally to an R-rated episode of Dawson's Creek. Still, this is an exciting, soulful work. Through 3/27: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 7 PM. Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division, 312-409-1679. $15.

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