To be sure, there's a certain visceral thrill as the first chords of Jimmie Marlowe's music are heard and a voiceover describes, in detail, the tragic end that Theresa will meet. Equally promising is an early song in which Theresa describes her dissatisfaction with her life (lyrics are by the show's other principal performer, Kevin Townley).
But it's not long before the show simply settles into a series of loosely connected numbers in which style trumps substance. A flashback to Theresa's battle with scoliosis as a child takes a surreal turn as Townley, playing a doctor, dons what looks like a grotesque, alien-like gas-mask. In another sequence, Cheek climbs to the top of a ladder and straddles it (painful phallic symbolism) before allowing a huge flowing skirt to descend, under which the company cavorts to indicate sexual frenzy.
Beyond Cheek's fiercely committed performance, the show's assets are its astonishing physical production, which includes Nick Benacerraf's environmental scenic design which turns the space into a club, complete with booze-stocked shelves, Adam Franz's energetic concert-like lighting design, and Alex Koch's video design which marvels throughout, backing each section of the piece with lavishly conceived and terrifically individualized movies.
-- Andy Propst