Whose West Wing Is It Anyway? | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Whose West Wing Is It Anyway? 

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Setting themselves a double challenge, the Free Associates aim to parody both the real White House and the liberal wet-dream television version--in addition to accomplishing their usual feat, improvising a coherent full-length show based on audience suggestions. They weren't up to it, at least not on opening night. Though a few individual performances captured the tics of West Wing characters--Sulamith Folz as Kate Harper, Ross Foti as Toby Ziegler, Duncan Teater as Will Bailey--the show's homey feel was missing. That left a send-up of the Bush administration, with predictable presidential malapropisms, vice presidential malevolence, and family maladjustment. It would be wise to emphasize one pole or the other--how bizarre The West Wing would be if Bush replaced Bartlet, or how amusing the current administration would be if its advisers were more interested in their personal lives than in the nation's fate. Addressing both equally isn't working. Through 5/15: Fri 8 PM, Sat 8 and 10 PM, Sun 7 PM. Peter Jones Gallery, 1806 W. Cuyler (second floor), 312-458-9083. $12-$15.

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