When Bush Comes to Shove | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

When Bush Comes to Shove 

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When Bush Comes To Shove, GayCo Productions, at Second City, Donny's Skybox Studio. Despite the title and the worthy targets offered by our mixed-up times, there's precious little genuine satire in this gay-themed troupe's sixth revue. One ballad pays tribute to Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter, "stuck in a closet on Capitol Hill." Other bits gently skewer gay Republicans. But alas, not even one slam at that perfect butt, Showtime's Queer as Folk.

Mostly this hour-long revue renders mainstream absurdities in lavender, like the opening spoof's "Cirque So Gay," which has its own wacko masks and entrenched attitude. One singer croons, "She's no hairy Dick or Tom / But she's man enough for me." Barking out film-noir tough talk, participants in a lesbian protection program track down the lovers from whom they were strategically separated. Trendy gay would-be dads praise the "baby time-share" program that lets them parent part-time and never miss a circuit party. A parent-teacher conference founders when the wily biological father (the delightful John Bonny) pits one mother against the other.

Director Martin Garcia finds more truth than humor in a scene in which a drunken, repressed mother (multipussed Mary Beth Burns) appropriates her lesbian daughter's date. In the strongest sketch, two smug longtime lovers attack an older friend who dared to court a birdbrained boy toy. Here the laughs come from more than a lifestyle observation or reversal of sex roles. More often, however, GayCo addresses familiar subjects with whiny put-downs, like a plain Jane with a crush on Suzi Cheerleader.

--Lawrence Bommer

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