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US 

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In his new solo show, California-based performance artist Tim Miller applies the concept of "us" to himself and his lover, himself and his audience, sexual minorities, Americans in general, and the U.S.--a nation that pays lip service to equality while relegating some populations to second-class status. One of the notorious NEA Four who sued the government in 1990 when their National Endowment for the Arts grants were rescinded under political pressure, Miller is in a long-term relationship with an Australian man; because same-sex marriage is illegal here, the couple faces separation or emigration when the partner's visa expires. Timelier than ever in light of President Bush's proposed constitutional amendment to deny gays' rights to marry, US boils with Miller's distinctive mix of anger and humor, literate intelligence and rock-star stage presence. Moving with relentless energy around the space, including the seats, he links his political commentary with childhood memories of that most wholesome and most subversive of American entertainments, the Broadway musical. The Sound of Music taught him to "leave organized religion, have sex, wear festive outfits, and fight fascism through song and dance"; the message of Fiddler on the Roof was to "disobey your parents and always be ready for exile"; and Gypsy encouraged him to strip in front of strangers (which he does here). Oliver! offered the most lasting lesson of all: "Dare to ask for more." As in such previous shows as Body Blows and Sex/Love/Stories, Miller is here acerbic, sweet, self-righteous, exhibitionist, and celebratory. Bailiwick Repertory, Bailiwick Arts Center, 1229 W. Belmont, 773-883-1090. April 9-10: Friday-Saturday, 7:30 PM. $25.

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