Six Dead Queens and an Inflatable Henry! | Piccolo Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through June 5 2010
Price: $15-$25
piccolotheatre.com
The wives of Henry VIII are trapped No Exit-style on a purgatorial giant bed/small boxing ring in this coarse, boisterous, sometimes hilarious show. Devised by Britain's Foursight Theatre in 1999, the piece is dated by references to Margaret Thatcher and Camilla Parker Bowles, and it drags at first, establishing the characters long after they've been nailed. But once the songs, monologues, and brawls get rolling, they provide a pungent picture of the queens' reproduce-or-perish lives. At the rivalry's high point, the ladies turn into bridling, snorting horses and race to determine the true queen. Gifted physical comedian Leeann Zahrt is especially poignant and funny as "Cleavage"--bumpkin Anne of Cleves, whom the king found too ugly to bed. --Laura Molzahn

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