Who's That Doctor? | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Who's That Doctor? 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

Who's That Doctor?, Hi-Volt Theatre Company, at Stage Left Theatre. Half-assed production values, story lines, and special effects are so central to BBC sci-fi that a parody of such programs does bloody well to play the fool at every turn. This send-up of cult favorite Dr. Who, staged by Harry Bauer, has the buffoonery down, from anthropomorphic space monsters to fashion-victim villainwear to dawdling teleplay; best is disaffected stagehand Mr. Bottles, stomping on- and offstage midscene to change backdrops or reorient robotic sidekick K9. Some of the sketchiness is unaffected--two brand-new episodes go up every weekend--and the whole approach is intentionally loose and unpretentious. But while often amusing, the installment I saw was generally too distant from its targets to develop a comic groove, making the interruptions most of the entertainment.

An episode starring more recognizable baddies, like Daleks or Cybermen, might be more fun--and both are scheduled for later appearances. (This one's endearingly lame giant bugs, despite a commanding performance by Alexander Monical, didn't pack much punch.) But some portrayals were exceptional: Sean Sinitski's Doctor, handsomely costumed in scarf and curls a la fourth doctor Tom Baker (the Sean Connery of the franchise), gave a clever, measured performance that also recalled little-known seventh doctor Sylvester McCoy, and Karyn Morris was fine as "assistant" Vickie-Jane. Eric Roach, the standout as Bottles, also made a showstopping appearance as downbeat fifth doctor Peter Davison. But the rest--particularly Chris Mathews's approximate Master--offered more likable silliness than focused mockery.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Harry Bauer.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Brian Nemtusak

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
The Best of Enemies Open Door Repertory Company
September 20
Performing Arts
Vanya on the Plains The Artistic Home
September 12

Tabbed Event Search

Popular Stories