Chicago Street Theatre’s intense production of “Hurly Burly” is a definite must-see. I’m not sure if David Rabe’s scathing indictment of Hollywood in the ‘80s is entirely accurate, but it is definitely disturbing. Karl Berner gives a tour de force performance in this amazing piece of theater! 3 ½ Spotlight
Eddie (Berner) and Mickey (Andy Urschel) live together in a Hollywood bungalow. They are both casting agents, taking the occasional meeting. They seem to have plenty of money for drugs, although they never really seem to work.
Eddie’s friend Phil (Timmy Gleason), in the middle of a breakup with his wife – she wants a baby, he doesn’t – moves in for a while.
One day, their friend, Artie (Justin Treasure) brings a gift, a girl named Donna. After he found Donna (Lisa Zandy) pretty much living in an elevator, he took her back to his hotel room. Now, he’s giving her to Eddie and Mickey, who both want her.
One day, Eddie invited Darlene (Stephanie Stalbaum) – and he was really interested in her. Then Mickey asked if it was OK if he asked her out which made Eddie mad, so he won’t let Mickey have a chance with Donna.
One day, when Darlene comes over to see Mickey, she hooks up with Eddie, and they start a relationship. Eddie and Donna agree that it’s time for her to leave. She tries, but just can’t do it. Meanwhile, Phil goes back to his wife, they have a baby, and break up again. Phil is distraught, so Eddie invites another friend, Bonnie (Sherry Sweeney) over for Phil.
Soon after Phil and Bonnie leave for their hookup, she comes back. Phil got angry at something she said and threw her out of the car. She’s furious because it was her car and even angrier when Eddie defends Phil.
I would recommend this play for adults only. These guys have no respect for women, treating them as less than objects. Although all of them snort cocaine, smoke – cigarettes as well as pot – and drink to excess, Phil becomes more and more violent while Eddie seems determined to destroy himself with cocaine. Even a sudden tragedy isn’t enough to redeem them.
“Hurly Burly” runs through February 3rd at Chicago Street Theatre, 154 Chicago Street, Valparaiso. Running time is 2 hours, 50 minutes, with an intermission. FYI (219) 464-1636 or www.chicagostreet.org.
Read more of my reviews at www.spotlightonlake.com.