Directed by Jeremy Wechsler
At Theater Wit, Chicago
Quirky, fun comedy about preventing total life disasters pleases
Originally produced at New York’s Roundabout Theatre, playwright Kim Rosenstock’s dark comedy, Tigers Be Still, is a fun-filled comedy featuring a group of likable losers who can’t seem to cope with life’s stresses. We meet Sherry (Mary Winn Heider), holding a master degree in art therapist who has been sitting home depressed over lack of work. Her distraught sister, Grace (Kasey Foster) drinks, sleeps, drinks more then watches “Top Gun” over and over to drown out her jilted marriage plans. Add an unseen mother whose weight gain leads her to hide in her upstairs bedroom and you have a crazy family dynamic in play. But Sherry get work as an art teacher through her mother’s contacts with an ex-high school boyfriend now a principal at a local middle school.
Joseph (Guy Massey) has a lost-soul son, Zack (Matt Farabee) with whom Sherry agrees to ‘counsel’ as well as have for an assistant art teacher. With a tiger roaming the area after escaping the nearby zoo, Joseph carries a rifle. The funny dynamic between Sherry and Zack, between Sherry and Grace, and between Zack and hiss father Joseph allows Rosenstock to vent her quirky comic chops into a 95 minute delight. Rosenstock has the contemporary vernacular down, especially the new teen-speak. This cute show is funny, poignant and refreshing. It is filled with fine work–especially by Kasey Foster as the depressed want-to-be wife. Mary Winn Heider narrates with a zesty optimism while Matt Farabee uses a gilt-ridden pessimism to wander through life. As he and Sherry gradually form a special bond, we realize that each character has problems that seem overwhelming but gradually get solved. having someone to communicate and trust sure helps us overcome our foibles.
The many black-outs and the clunky staging that stretched sight lines for many slowed the paced and allowed too much lingering that diluted from the comedy. However, this cute comedy will engage you and garner enough laughs to make you trip to Rosenstock’s dysfunctional world a fun experience.
Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast
Date Reviewed: May 1, 2012
For more info checkout the Tigers Be Still page at theatreinchicago.com
At Theatre Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago, call 773-975-8150, tickets $18 – $36, Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 3 pm, running time is 95 minutes without intermission, through June 3, 2012