Society Blues | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Society Blues 

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SOCIETY BLUES, at the O Bar & Cafe. A former society reporter for the New York Times, David Divita has probably experienced enough interoffice politicking and micromanagement to last him a lifetime: he spent almost three years churning out formulaic wedding announcements for picky, pampered couples and fielding phone calls from their irate parents. An awful-sounding job, to be sure. But with the proper treatment, the comic potential is unlimited.

Divita's one-man show is at times mildly self-serving. That's not unexpected; it's tough to avoid self-indulgence in autobiographical performance. But Society Blues is never disingenuous: whether he's skewering his dim-witted customers or recounting how he came to terms with his sexuality, Divita remains infallibly honest. He refuses to hide anything from the audience. And he recognizes the irony of a single gay male covering the wedding beat for a fairly conservative metropolitan newspaper and exploits it, expressing his dissatisfaction with the institution of marriage.

As a script, Society Blues has the potential to be sentimental, sappy mush, and the writing could use some fine-tuning. But Divita is a strong performer who segues effortlessly between pure sarcasm and storytelling. And his ability to take on a wide range of characters is impressive: his hilarious impression of a ball-busting grade school gym teacher is alone worth the price of admission. --Nick Green

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