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Too Busy to be Famous 

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Too Busy to be Famous, at Second City, Donny's Skybox Studio. Neo-Futurist Lusia Strus's first solo show is similar in feel to Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind--but less inventive and more moving. In 16 rapid-fire scenes--some funny, some wistful, some funny and wistful--she meditates on how quickly time is passing us all by, taking a few Nader-like swipes at corporate megalomania along the way.

Strus is particularly droll as a Starbucks drone, explaining the order in which drinks should be called out while noting that a small mocha latte costs a third of her hourly wage. Her best skits, however, feature either her strangely charming egomania--in the title piece she tells us all her deep secrets so they won't come out in the tabloids when fame knocks on her door--or reflections on her parents. In one of the most touching, "My Father the Rock," she ruminates on her dad's gravestone.

Strus's sexy rasp of a voice makes even the slower episodes here riveting in a radio-drama sort of way. Director Glenn F. Haines does a credible job of moving Strus around the stage, though the constant costume changes are unnecessary and exhausting: her gift lies in telling the perfect absurd detail with an acute sense of timing. Nothing here is particularly new, but somehow we laugh anyway.

--Jennifer Vanasco


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