The Sea Horse | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

The Sea Horse 

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Palookaville, at TurnAround Theatre

Gertrude Blum, called "Two-Ton Gertie" by her customers at the Sea Horse tavern, mistrusts all men, especially those with sweet words for her. But old sea dog Harry Bales has come courting. And though at first Gertrude spurns his proposal, Harry is a determined man.

Mary Margaret Barry and Brian Beach may have made a ludicrous pair of tragic lovers in Palookaville's ill-starred 1993 Medea, but for this production of Edward J. Moore's romantic comedy both are cast to perfection. Not only physically, though both radiate a weathered dignity no Baywatch couple could hope to achieve, but in their obvious ease with each other as they alternately clash and cuddle. It's this body language more than any other factor that informs us that Gertrude and Harry are made for each other, that has us heartily endorsing Harry's suit, which, if pressed by a younger man, could easily become offensive. Director Bryan Bentlin also utilizes the strengths of his ensemble and the TurnAround Theatre space to maximum advantage.

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