The Spitfire Grill | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

The Spitfire Grill 

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James Valcq and Fred Alley's musical version of the 1996 movie, about a female ex-con who's moved to rural Wisconsin, has interesting characters, nice tunes, and some fascinating plot twists. But these pieces are so predictably assembled that we can no longer believe in the story. In Tim Gregory's staging for the Provision Theater Company, Tempe Thomas as the woman is too fresh and unscarred for someone who's just spent five years in prison. And as the town busybody, Mierka Girten never rises above sitcom cartoonishness. But when a strong, usually flawless performer like Susan Moniz stumbles over her character's transformation from a mouse to a lion, it's time to blame the underlying material for a sleepy little show. Through 5/21: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 2 PM, Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 W. Belmont, 773-327-5252, $20-$25, industry nights Thu, $10 for mothers Sun 5/14.

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