The Fall from Precious | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

The Fall from Precious 

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Its relocation from the Voltaire basement to the spacious Live Bait stage has done nothing to diminish the warmth and intimacy of Rena Malin's The Fall From Precious. Indeed, a second viewing of this one-woman show (directed by the redoubtable Nancy Scanlon) only confirms the remarkable specificity of the experiences Malin relates: a conversation with a septuagenarian celibate in Paris, for example, or the triumph of single-handedly defying a crowd of abusive bullies. These highly personal narratives never stoop to gratuitous pop-culture references to artificially enhance their significance to us. And though Malin has charmingly had a doll made in her image, she never attempts to seduce her audience by being coy or cute (too many monologuists go for the easy "aaaaw"). Forty years ago Francoise Sagan's Bonjour Tristesse drove home to us what a precarious and painful journey it is from girlhood to womanhood; The Fall From Precious marks Malin as a successor to watch. Live Bait Theater, 3914 N. Clark, 769-0052. Through August 8: Mondays-Tuesday, 8 PM. $8.

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