The Pull Toy (and His Paisan) | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

The Pull Toy (and His Paisan) 

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The cutting-edge Collaboraction company makes a mystifying move with this high school nostalgia piece by Robert McEwen. The script, an ultraslight refugee from the Happy Days rejection pile, has a straight-arrow school principal on the trail of a football squad thug who's brutalized a nerd in a homophobia-charged locker-room encounter. Justice, official and otherwise, prevails; in the process, three more excruciatingly familiar stereotypes get dusted off and trotted out. The talented cast work overtime to punch their way out of these limited roles, but to no avail. Picture-perfect set design and "Be True to Your School" house music bring this world, which only ever really existed in gently reactionary 70s teleplays, into blinding focus. Through 7/9: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM, Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago, 312-226-9633, $18-$25.

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