Sweat Girls: All This and the Sugar Dish Too! | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Sweat Girls: All This and the Sugar Dish Too! 

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SWEAT GIRLS: ALL THIS AND THE SUGAR DISH TOO!, at Jako's, through November 4. This new collection of monologues seems thrown together, though each girl is charming in her presentation. There's also hope for the future: the group will add new monologues each week, and the improvisational writing exercise will undoubtedly improve when they get a better audience suggestion than "intergalactic conspiracy." Still, the show has a fundamental problem: lazy observation of narrow subjects. There's no clear point to Martie Sanders's "Jelly"--her wet-diapered nephew doesn't have an automatic claim on our attention, and she doesn't create one. Dorothy Milne's "Laundry and Secrets" contains one anecdote about each subject, unconnected. In "Follicular Folly," Pamela Webster never examines the assumption that having her legs waxed will make her sexy, instead simply complaining that it hurts. Cindy Hanson's paean to the Olympics, nearly indistinguishable from the ones on TV, is moving only because the subject so obviously moves her. And Clare Nolan-Long's account of championship ballroom dancing suggests mostly that she watches too much television, though she might have made something of the insight that people on TV are real.

That's another problem: this work lacks empathy. The Sweat Girls' earlier shows, especially The Motherlode, forged a strong connection between their experiences and those of the women in the audience. Now it seems they've come to take that connection for granted, and the result is an inoffensive but shallow evening.

--Kelly Kleiman

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