Exceptional! Domesticated at Steppenwolf (December 15, 2015)

“It was just one time,” claims Bill, played expertly by Tom Irwin. While he was with a hired prostitute, she accidentally fell down (or was she pushed?). She hit her head hard and fell into a coma. He calls 911 and then his life begins to unravel. Before the trial, his defense attorney reveals to his wife the list of free kinky websites he has visited as he sits silently. “I see a pattern with these websites” says Bill’s wife as the audience laughs.  Then, the topic of the credit card transactions arises and Bill gets more uncomfortable. It’s a joy to watch him react without saying a single word.  His facial expressions and body language alone speak volumes. The details of the hotel rooms come out and Bill turns away as his wife becomes more enraged. Amazingly, Irwin manages to make Bill likeable even after all the details of his indiscretions are revealed.

The scenes about Bill’s sex scandal are spliced with a presentation about the sexual mysteries of the animal kingdom by his adopted daughter. She reads from index cards as images of the animals are displayed on a large screen behind her. She describes the triplewart seadevil, an anglerfish, in which the female is 10 times the size of the male. The parasitic male permanently attaches himself to the lower hind of the female. He basically becomes an appendage from which the female can draw nutrients and sperm if needed. The crowd is laughing as each new detail is revealed. The speech by itself would be interesting alone, but within the context of a politician’s sex scandal, it’s hilarious.

The entire show is fantastically written and professionally performed. It’s dramatic, hilarious, profound, exciting, and real. Can human males be domesticated? Find out now at Steppenwolf through February 7th.

Quinn Delaney


2 thoughts on “Exceptional! Domesticated at Steppenwolf (December 15, 2015)

  1. Pingback: Expert Production! The Christians at Steppenwolf (December 13, 2016) | PlaylistHQ

  2. Pingback: Great Play, Misleading Title – Swing State at The Goodman Theatre (Through November 13, 2022) | PlaylistHQ

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