Silent Theatre Presents THE WILD PARTY VARIETY HOUR Review – A Cult You WANT to Join - a recurring fun cabaret with a devout fan base
Arriving early you get to spend a lot of time watching the child dressed as a hot dog nervously dart from seats to backstage. Wearing a hot dog outfit seems to require more moxie than they naturally muster. Then a soothing piece of pizza appears—a tall man garbed with pepperoni strategically placed to suggest gender fluidity-- and they both seem to settle more comfortably in their seats as the rest of the audience floats in—some sporting devils’ horns, boas, glittery eyes and more. OH NO! you didn’t get the memo to come wearing a costume?
We are at the finale performance of the tenth season of Silent Theatre’s popular cabaret staged periodically since their time began and apparently with a very happy cult following growing with each reprisal. This one was staged in the prestigious Steppenwolf Look Out Series Theatre—making it possible for the audience to prep appropriately at the bar just steps away during the pre-show, some bringing their drinks in to the small cocktail tables in the Lookout Series theater.
Silent Theatre Finds Its Voice
The host of sorts (and co-writer) is Marvin Quijada a.k.a. Silent Marvin – who in this episode is fighting an eternal battle a la Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The Silent Marvin this cult following audience loves can’t stop himself from making bananas and beyond as being good fodder for pantomimed dick jokes. But now, with a voice downright stentorian, Marvin announces—YES! he speaks!—that he has evolved and now adds verbal witticisms such as referring to the aforementioned hot dog clad child as a “small weiner”.
This gag of the dueling speaking vs. Silent Marvin runs through the show, creating many an opportunity for cult followers to see his trademark dying scenes, lots of gun shots, and battles with his high flying (literally!) nemesis Tabernacle Abernathy played by Marcus Fittanto. The variety in the variety hour comes from standup comics, other mime storytellers, juggling acts, songs, and even a stripped tease by a masked femme fatale down to pasties and g-stringie thingie. In this reviewer’s opinion, the mishmash of acts makes for a most cohesive and enjoyable whole.
This is variety! This is wild! And this is most fun!
Note: This is now added to the Picture this Post round up of BEST PLAYS IN CHICAGO, where it will remain until the end of the run. Click here to read – Top Picks for Theater in Chicago NOW – Chicago Plays PICTURE THIS POST Loves.
Brendan Balfe (with Marvin Quijada)
Scott Ray Merchant
Nick DuFloth and Friends
Brad French|The Silver Fox
Lindsey Marks|Lady Jack