Wherefore Art Thou Romeo: A New Play | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Wherefore Art Thou Romeo: A New Play 

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Playwright Samuel Morris has a modestly clever idea: a backstage farce a la Noises Off that features Romeo and Juliet as the onstage production. Then he combines it with the simultaneously bizarre and uninteresting notion that Shakespeare's play should be about a death cult. All the goings-on in this witless world premiere by a new company seem designed to permit Morris, who also plays Romeo, to thrust his hips and make pseudo-Shakespearean pseudobawdy remarks. In a show infused with contempt for the audience, it's assumed no one will notice the destruction of Shakespeare's play, accepting in its place in-jokes worthy of stoned sophomores. It's impossible to tell whether the acting is any good, buried as it is under the script and Leah Rose's leaden direction. Jerome St. Jerome provides the only pleasurable moment, a blues harmonica solo with no relation to anything else. Through 7/16: Thu-Sat 8 PM. No Social Life Theatre Company, 3273 W. Armitage, 312-316-8713. $12.

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