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  Trogg! A Musical at Chopin Theatre

Trogg! A Musical

Chopin Theatre
1543 W. Division Chicago

It's 1967, and Sunset Cove, a sleepy little coastal town in Southern California is rocked to its core when a big, furry monster is discovered in a nearby cave. It's up to the nation's top 'lady anthropologist', Dr. Joan Cannon (David Cerda), to uncover the truth about this mysterious creature. With the help of her trusted maid/paleontologist, Carol Ann (Ed Jones), Dr. Cannon sets out to prove that the creature is an actual prehistoric caveman- a Troglodyte. Standing in their way is Jonas Huntington, Joan's former flame, now a renowned author and Mayor of Sunset Cove. Complicating matters further is the budding romance between Joan's headstrong rock and roll loving daughter, Barbara and Jonas's equally strong-willed son, Rex.

Presented by Hell in a Handbag Productions

Thru - Jul 16, 2011

Price: $15-$28

Show Type: Musical

Box Office: 800-838-3006

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  Trogg! A Musical Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Somewhat Recommended

"...But the homemade spirit (the style is that of a really low-budget “Hairspray”), comedic invention and jovial atmosphere has its pleasures. If, unlike me, you've had a pre-show martini or two, and if you always enjoy those low-budget horror double-features that used to be a feature of a night out on State Street, then you'll perhaps enjoy watching everyone chasing the caveman around the columns in the basement of the Chopin Theatre. I suspect “Trog” became “Trogg” (along with various other adjustments) to keep the lawyers away, although I'm not sure why anyone would want to defend this thing."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...The script has dull stretches, and group scenes in Scott Ferguson's staging for Hell in a Handbag Productions can get chaotic. But the performances are choice--especially Cerda's as the serenely composed Crawford/anthropologist and Ed Jones's as long-suffering, hysteria-prone lab assistant Carol Ann."
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Zac Thompson

Windy City Times - Recommended

"...Cerda's deadpan Joan as Dr. Joan Cannon really takes the cake and has several bust out loud laughing moments. Her flash card therapy has mixed results on the pet troglodyte, lucky for the civilians music takes over to calm down the furry creature. Chad Ramsey as Trogg has an energy that is hoot to watch. Ed Jones as Carol Ann is a standout as usual having appeared in several of the Handbag's shows. The crowd loved Alex Grelle as Peanut who adds a lot to role that could have been a throwaway. Dig in to the atheist chili as this camp will make you pray for more. The music is fun and matches the beach theme with a style Frankie Avalon could appreciate."
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Jerry Nunn

Centerstage - Recommended

"...Performing in the basement of the Chopin Theater, Trogg utilizes an awkward space nicely, its enthusiastic cast filling every cranny. Though the show would fare just fine less three or four of the self-similar musical numbers, the players show off sturdy, pleasant voices, and tight dance moves. Generally strong, the cast includes standout Alex Grelle, notable for his impeccable timing. Other show highlights include flamboyantly spot-on period costumes, rubber faced ensemble members and of course all manner of campy references and asides."

Sarah Terez Rosenblum

Chicago Stage Standard - Recommended

"...There’s no particular satirical intent here, not when material like this all but mocks itself. Nor are there any in-joke references to Joan’s other roles. This one, alas, hardly summed up her dazzling career (“Mildred Pierce” still rules!). It just shows how far her star had dimmed just four years before her death. But an eager-to-please piece of safe summer-camp fluff like “Trogg” isn’t big enough to become a retrospective. It’s just a romp about a “big, furry monster” with a heart of gold."

Lawrence Bommer

Let's Play at ChicagoNow - Recommended

"... Playwright David Cerda unveils his latest Joan Crawford tribute. Cerda & Company loosely base it on Joan Crawford's movie "Trog." They keep the anthropologist-rescues-a-caveman scenario but spoof it up with cliched Frankie and Annette films from the sixties. The high-energy, groovy songs prompt peppy, happy dancing. It's a flashback to simpler times when kids rebelled by listening to rock music and necking. The ensemble terrifically exaggerate the 1960's film caricatures. Elizabeth Lesinski (Barbara) belts out tunes as the pouty ignored daughter of a famous scientist."
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Katy Walsh

Around The Town Chicago - Recommended

"...This is sheer fun! Yes, there are some lessons to be learned from this story, but they are not why people go to productions by handbag- they go to forget all the stuff in the outside world- to put their troubles on a “back-burner” , at least for a few hours, buy a drink and just laugh those troubles away."
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Alan Bresloff

Chicago Theater Beat - Recommended

"...Director Scott Ferguson does a great job given the difficult space. He consciously moves action from one end of the long stage to the other in an effort to play to the entire audience. This is likely the same impetus for Ferguson’s decision to have actors frequently spin and reel around."

Keith Ecker

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