When Heck Was a Puppy: The Living Testimonies of Folk Artist Edna Mae Brice | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

When Heck Was a Puppy: The Living Testimonies of Folk Artist Edna Mae Brice 

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Based on several stories by southern folk artists and some from actress Tekki Lomnicki's own life, this quasi-interactive, multimedia play written by Michael Blackwell, Lomnicki, and Nancy Neven Shelton tells the story of a brave, buoyant woman who battles several demons from her past on a bus ride to New Orleans. Featuring gospel music, slides, masks, and puppets, it's whimsical, irreverent, and beautifully designed. It premiered last summer at the Blue Rider Theatre, and with major additions to the script, a more coherent musical direction, and more assuredness from Lomnicki, new director Jeffrey Jon Smith's restaging is even better than its predecessor. American Blues Theatre, 1909 W. Byron, 409-4358. Through April 23: Fridays and Saturdays, 8 PM, Sundays, 7 PM. $15.

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