The Sweat Girls | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

The Sweat Girls 

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The Sweat Girls

There's a new incarnation of the Sweat Girls, that talented gaggle of local actors, playwrights, and singers who take over small theaters and deliver short, market-minded monologues. The most recent Sweat Girl collaboration--"Sweat Girl Swing," at the Swedish American Museum Center--is a modern family-entertainment salon, complete with music, an improvisational spirit, and literary ambitions. In the Andersonville landmark, six of the sweaty ones perform new pieces as poignantly sweet as the museum's tiny plastic garden, vintage cereal boxes, and photographs of Swedish strongmen. A different musician or musical group--Flapperjack, Crosswind, Healing Rhythms, or Enoch Williamson--accompanies each show and offers a postshow dance mix. Despite the underrehearsed feel of the monologues, often read script in hand, there's a wry sense of fun in these confessional stories about parents, hair, drumming lessons, jealousy, and childhood fantasies; an added bonus is a lighthearted improvisation based on audience suggestions. High-spirited playfulness makes this a relaxing yet boisterous evening. Swedish American Museum Center, 5211 N. Clark, 847-397-0453. Through March 14: Sundays, 7 PM. $12.

--Carol Burbank

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): theater still by Suzanne Plunkett.

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