Bootycandy

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Written and directed by Robert O’Hare.

At Windy City Playhouse, Chicago.

“Bootycandy” African-American slang for penis.

Vulgar weirdly staged comedy satire about growing up gay and black is offensive.

Windy City Playhouse has mounted in the last few years several terrific plays each well acted and worthy of an audience. Unfortunately, their present production, Bootycandy, is a terrible one! This strange comedy is so raw, vulgar and crude that I can’t understand why Windy City Playhouse would risk their acquired following with such a unappealing show. Bootycandy isn’t funny ( on opening night, only scattered laughter was heard despite friends of the cast being present.) In mid act one, a couple in the first row walked out. That was rude yet understandable.

There is nothing to like here. Bootycandy is offensive to gay men, to the black community, to black churches, and to white folks. The production is a series of vignettes that cover much more that the coming of age of a black gay boy. Among the play’s scenes, we hear two women, each playing  two women, as they talk about the naming of a child. Because they each spoke in a black slang-infused dialect, I couldn’t understand what was said. In another scene, we see a black minister slowing go from respected reverend to a drag queen, Both of these scenes drowned on mush too long.

.Act two finds the gay boy seeking sex, especially from a drunken white boy guy who shows his penis on a dare. More nudity from him happens. This work also brakes the fourth wall at the end of act one as it tells us what we just witnessed? We also see near the show’s end, as the actors stop the action as they make a demand that the black boy meet his grandmother? I felt sorry for the actors who each worked hard to get this awful material to work.

In summary, Robert O’Hare’s semi-autobiography, Bootycandy, isn’t funny but more of a satirical insult. His scenes run repetitiously long and his characters are stereotypical mockeries of back folks including the strong black mother, the outspoken grandmother and the hypocritical reverend. This show has an infinite appetite for foul language  and crude sexual references. There is little to emphasize here. I can’t imagine who the audience is for this show?

Not Recommended.

Date Reviewed: February 2, 2017.

Jeff Recommended.

For more info checkout the Bootycandy page at theatreinchicago.com.

At Windy City Playhouse, 3014 W. Irving Park, Il, call 312-891-8985, www.windycityplayhouse.com, tickets$15 -$55, Thursdays  7:30 p.m., Fridays  8 p.m., Saturdays  8 p.m. ( 2 p.m. matinees added on 2/11 and 4/15),Sundays  3 p.m., running time 2hours with intermission, through April 15, 2017.

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