Saturday, February 16, 2013

Magic Carpet Ride

Driving around Lincoln Park in June, Phil and I noticed Steppenwolf banners all over Halsted Street. Uncultured swine that we are, we couldn't believe that Steppenwolf was still performing. Weren't those guys like a hundred years old by now? Come to find out, it's actually an award-winning theater company that's been around since 1974...

Well, it's Chicago Theater Week, and I decided to surprise Phil with tickets to Qui Ngyuen's She Kills Monsters at the Steppenwolf Garage. (Just so we're clear, the Garage is where people go to see awesome shows when they can't afford tickets to the big boy theater.) It doubled as both a Valentine's Day date and February's First. Unfortunately, our plan to take the train there was thwarted by construction on the Red Line, so we took a cab and got two Firsts for the price of two.

Situated in the front row, we started to get the creeping sensation that we had stumbled onto a clandestine hipster hive. Half the audience was sporting the obligatory horn-rimmed glasses, and a number of white chicks were gyrating to Salt-n-Pepa jamz as if confidence were a substitute for rhythm. Just when I was on the verge of hyperventilating, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" came on and activated the nostalgic middle schooler within. (True, Nirvana peaked when I was only five, but they were still edgy well into my teens.)

The music stopped shortly after eight o'clock, and it was time for the show to begin. Set in Ohio circa 1995, She Kills Monsters is the story of "Agnes the Ass-hatted" and her younger sister, Tilly. After her family is killed in a car accident, Agnes discovers Tilly's Dungeons & Dragons notebook, at which point she sets out on a quest to save her sister's soul. The two girls battle alongside a number of quirky sidekicks, and the insanity escalates from there...

Because the cost of admission was relatively inexpensive, Phil and I made the mistake of expecting a substandard production. By the time we left, however, we weren't just pleasantly surprised; we had fallen in love with the place, and we couldn't wait to go back. I mean...the acting was great, and the show was hilarious. I think the mission statement at the theater's entrance says it best:

We shall return!


  1. I am so insanely jealous. You guys have too take us on our next visit. Why are people not flocking to this blog? Great stuff again.

    1. It's a great mystery to us both! We will definitely go the next time you are in town. :)