Tommy Gun's Garage | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Tommy Gun's Garage 

Nothing says romance like the reenactment of a gangland massacre. For going on 15 years now, Tommy Gun's Garage has been marking Valentine's Day by adding to its usual interactive dinner-theater show a version of the 1929 massacre, complete with blood pack-backed gore. The entertaining show is set in a south-side speakeasy where gangsters and their molls sing, dance the Charleston, and riff on the golden age of radio; willing audience members might be led up onstage to participate in goofy, good-natured comic bits. Anachronisms abound: neither James Cagney nor Mae West was a Hollywood star yet in 1929, as this show suggests, and some of the songs--such as "Fugue for Tinhorns" from Guys and Dolls--weren't written until much later. But maybe that's being too picky. The cast, starting out as servers, treat us to patter peppered with "pal," "doll," and "beautiful," and their performances are solid, winning us over with their affable energy. And if our interest in this thinly plotted but often rousing revue flags, there's always the promise of gunfire to draw us back in. Tommy Gun's Garage, 1239 S. State, 773-728-2828. Special Valentine's Day holiday schedule February 12-15: Thursday, 6 PM (show starts 7:30 PM); Friday, 7 PM (show starts 8:30 PM); Saturday, 5 and 9 PM (shows start 6:30 and 10:30 PM); Sunday, 1 and 5:30 PM (shows start 2:30 and 7 PM). $55-$65; prices include food and refreshments, but alcoholic beverages are extra.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
Henchpeople Jarvis Square Theater
July 09
Performing Arts
April 30

Popular Stories