The Heart of Our Soul: Stories of Urban Lives | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

The Heart of Our Soul: Stories of Urban Lives 

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Imagine sitting through a student recital at a school your kids don't attend. That's what the new Scrap Mettle Soul production was like for me. There are moments of charm, oases of skill, and the occasional flash of not-badness here--but nowhere near enough of them. More a social service than a work of art, The Heart of Our Soul takes the testimonies, rants, and recollections of Uptown residents and turns them into vignettes and songs on subjects ranging from homelessness to INS raids. These are performed over the course of two stage-valueless hours by a troupe of 40 rank and sometimes rankling amateurs. Lacking a family connection or an unusually high level of caritas, it's really, really difficult to watch the show all the way through. I managed by fastening on a few endearing individuals, appreciating a few exceptional songs, and shifting my weight. Through 5/13: schedule follows. Through 5/8: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 2:30 PM. Then 5/10-5/13: Tue-Fri 7:30 PM. Alternatives, Inc., 4730 N. Sheridan, 773-275-3999. $5-$10.

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