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

Tommy Gun's Garage 

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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.

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