Shirts & Skin | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Shirts & Skin 

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At a time when Jerry Falwell can "out" Teletubby Tinky Winky with a straight face, and expensive new AIDS drugs are transforming our definitions of survival, Tim Miller's stories are refreshingly hopeful reminders of the devastating, delirious, complicated course of history in the late 20th century. Shirts & Skin--the latest installment in Miller's autobiographical solo-performance saga, being presented this weekend only as part of the "Pride '99" series--demonstrates the continuing vitality of his honesty, sense of irony, and genuine affection for the audience. As he has in the past, Miller uses his experiences as a gay activist to explore political and cultural issues, but in this show he deepens his critique to include a sometimes frenetic celebration of the strange twists of multiculturalism. Whether describing his German lessons with Fraulein Rodriguez or delivering his take on the rise to power and murder of Harvey Milk, Miller offers a breathless energy and spontaneous physicality that carry the audience through his life and into the center of his culturally marginal vision of life in the USA. Bailiwick Repertory, Bailiwick Arts Center, 1229 W. Belmont, 773-883-1090. May 28 through 30: Friday, 8 PM; Saturday, 10 PM; Sunday, 5 PM. $20.

--Carol Burbank

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Dona Ann McAdams.

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