Chicago Dramatists, that tiny little theater located where Chicago Avenue, meets Milwaukee Avenue,meets Ogden Avenue, is known for discovering some wonderful new playwrights. In fact, they are known as “The Playwrights Theatre” and over the years this has been the case.They also rent their space to other troupes. Teatro Luna and Teatro Vista have worked in this space to capacity crowds. “.
Upon entering the theater to some cute musical numbers involving teeth and the brushing and flossing of same, along with old TV commercial jingles for Pepsodent and Colgate ( where was the “brush-a-brusha with the new Ipana”?), I thought I might be in for a cute little show, but Dentistry is not a favorite subject for most of us and if I were a dentist, I might be offended by the characters Ms Jacqmin has created. While there are six performers, some play other roles and that gets a bit confusing. Supposedly we are in Skokie at a Meeting/convention of The North Shore Regional Dental Society, said meeting to help them find a better way of doing business and creating a better future. The main topic of conversation is that their President, who has been having a “thing” with his assistant and has allowed her to perform dental procedures on patients. They seem to be more upset over that than the fact that this married man is cheating on his wife. Hell, he is cheating on their profession!
There are bar scenes, meeting where director Megan Shuchman has placed the speaker behind the audience forcing us to crane our necks back and forth to see the reactions from the onstage actors, Ho-hum is what these scenes were. There was a swimming pool scene and of course a scene with the “hussy” who showed up at the meeting. Isn’t that silly? It’s like the President admitting that the rumors are in fact true! What started out with some potential and had a few early laughs, slowly slid downhill. The set(Michael Mroch) was spread out and somewhat confusing as to why the stage in a nightclub was also a bedroom and am sure that it was difficult for the actors to work with very few props. Often they were doing pantomime, but once in awhile they had an actual empty glass that they drank 3 or 4 shots from.
I LOVE live theater, and those of you who are regular readers of mine, know that I try to find the silver lining of most productions, so that I can tell you if it is worth paying the price of a ticket to see a show. This one just didn’t make it! I would suggest however, if you are in a theater company and are looking for some new talent, that you might want to buy the ticket to get a glimpse of these actors, who despite the script and the direction almost make this 80 minutes worthwhile. Rhonda Marie Bynum, Collin Geraghty, Paige Smilt, Justin James Farley, Rakisha Pollard and Dana Black ( who has a great sultry voice).
Dental Society” will continue at The Chicago Dramatists located at 1105 W. Chicago Avenue through August 7th with performances on Wednesday,Thursday,Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m.