Pop Psychology | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Pop Psychology 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

Pop Psychology, at the Mercury Theater. "Dr." Tony Rogers and director Michael D. Starcevich have moved their sing-along relationship seminar from Davenport's Piano Bar & Cabaret to this much larger venue. Here the sound system and acoustics nicely amplify Rogers's Michael Stipe-ish voice throughout his tongue-in-cheek pep talk and original songs about bridging the gap between Mars and Venus. And the wider stage and professional lighting design allow room for a basic office set, an additional band member (guitar player John Scholvin), and projections on a giant screen that reinforce the doctor's self-help affirmations ("There can be no healing without feeling").

Offsetting these improvements is a loss of intimacy, a sense that this casual interactive forum doesn't quite fill the space. Although the evening has a consistent structure, much of the content comes from ad-libbed exchanges between Rogers and audience members, who've filled out questionnaires before the show. In a proscenium setting, where everyone faces the stage, many of the audience's responses, verbal and nonverbal, are lost, as is a good deal of the humor. And let's face it, if you're asking people to come up onstage to talk about marital squabbles and daily passion quotients, a two-drink minimum helps.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Give $35/month →  
  Give $10/month →  
  Give  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Kim Wilson

Popular Stories