Daily Archives: August 22, 2011
Babes with Blades production The Double is a pleasantly entertaining surprise
The Double by Barbara Lhota
Directed by Leigh Barrett
Babes With Blades at the Lincoln Square Theatre, 4754 N. Leavitt, Chicago 60625
Runs August 25 – September 24, 2011
Tickets $12 – $20, available at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/179456 or (773) 904-0391
Review by Kaylee Holt
Babes With Blades, a female theater company focused on stage combat, presents the world premiere of The Double, a comedy about a group of Broadway actors staging Cyrano de Bergerac in the 1940’s. The Double is a feel-good love story in which everyone wants everyone else, creating a complicated web of desire with a few unexpected twists that keep the play from feeling too same-old-same-old. While at times it’s a bit over the top, there’s never a dull moment, and overall the production is entertaining and heart-warming.
Towards the beginning of Act I, the play feels a little uncomfortably showy; the dialogue feels kind of forced, there’s a fight scene that goes on far too long, and the fainting bit gets old quickly. However, as the production goes on, it finds its stride, and the dialogue and stage combat end up making the play. The witty banter moves the story along beautifully, especially the dialogue involving Lisa Herceg, who’s consistently dry and witty as Rosalind Rollins, the jaded acting pro. There’s also a cute bit featuring Dan Foss as the bumbling producer Saulie Bloomfield, in which he constantly uses big words incorrectly. The stage combat gets better, too; the highlight of the play is the absolutely hilarious staging of Cyrano’s Spanish fight scene towards the end of Act II.
While a few of the characters are a bit irritating in Act I, by the end of the play you can’t help rooting for them all. The ending, while a bit unrealistically perfect, is still cute and fun. “The Double” is a pleasant surprise; Babes With Blades give a performance that’s unpredictable and laugh-out-loud funny.