Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love, Circle Theatre. | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love, Circle Theatre. 

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Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love, Circle Theatre.

Canadian writer Brad Fraser's play--a sordid mix of sitcom, soap opera, psycho-thriller, and soft-core porn--received its U.S. premiere in 1991 at Chicago's now-defunct Halsted Theatre Centre, in a slick, effortfully erotic production staged by British director Derek Goldby. Now it's receiving a bare-bones revival at Forest Park's Circle Theatre, still packed with male and female nudity and simulated sex scenes, including lesbian lovemaking, a gay anal rape, a teenage boy getting a blow job from a heroin-snorting hooker, and a bisexual bondage three-way.

The story revolves around David, a gay actor-waiter with a thing for anonymous tricking; his female roommate (and ex-lover) Candy, who's romantically torn between a hunky male bartender and an obsessive lesbian she met at her health club; Kane, a sexually ambivalent busboy who catches David's eye; Benita, an aura-reading psychic prostitute who spends most of the show in her underwear; and Bernie, David's best buddy, who just happens to be a serial killer. Director Tyron Sean Perry's cast are competent and good-looking--Karin Anglin as Candy turns in the most impressive work--but they can't disguise the essential silliness of Fraser's script, a stew of pseudonaturalistic dialogue, laughably shallow ersatz beat poetry, and hoary horror tales about terrified baby-sitters and hook-handed maniacs prowling lovers' lanes.

Circle's production is less annoying than the one at Halsted Theatre Centre, mainly because technical limitations prohibit resorting to the gimmicky lighting and set design Goldby employed to give the impression of significance. But less isn't more in this pretentious time waster.

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