More Eisenhower-era fever dream than comedy, Terry Johnson’s play stuffs four mid-century icons in a hotel room and let’s them rumble. Marilyn Monroe vamps for Albert Einstein, whilst rattling off the famed physicist’s theory of relativity. Red-baiting Senator Joseph McCarthy makes a sinister appearance in between swigs from a flask; and later, Joe DiMaggio barges in and chews some gum. But what’s the point? As a pop cultural grab bag, the play lacks sufficient edge or insight into the walking stereotypes who occupy the stage. The title, as it happens, resonates in all the wrong ways. Brad Akin’s production for Steep Theatre does have one thing going for it, and that is the presence of Vince Teninty as McCarthy, hair slicked back in an oily, receding coif. Killer acting skills aside, he is in possession of one the best speaking voices you will hear in Chicago theater—a deep, Harvey Fierstein-like rumble drenched in battery acid. (Nina Metz)
Steep Theatre, 3902 N. Sheridan, (312)458-0722. Thu-Sat 8pm. Through Sep 1.