Theater Review: ‘It’s NOT ALL About You John Michael’ in Chicago

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CHICAGO – John Michael epitomizes the art of the monologue. The Chicago transplant, by way of Dallas, is moving on (he says temporarily) from the city that inspired his last show, “Meatball Seance,” after notorious and successful runs of his other one-man shows, “John Michael and the Order of the Penix” and “Dementia Me.” His farewell performance is his latest, another laugh riot, “It’s NOT ALL About You John Michael,” and will take place at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood on March 1st, 2019. Click here for details, including ticket information.

HollywoodChicago.com Comedy/Tragedy Rating: 5.0/5.0
Play Rating: 5.0/5.0

Michael’s method is basically a recitation of his life stories, whether it’s testing for an STD (“Order of the Penix”), working in a care center (“Dementia Me”) or dating in Chicago (“Meatball Seance”). “It’s NOT ALL About You John Michael” implies the title, as the impish manic boy-as-man exhorts the audience to be him, and then sets out to provide examples of his questionable behavior. It’s the kind of show where laughter is consistent and insistent, and JM rarely lets anyone come up for air. If you’ve never seen the magic spell this stand alone wizard casts, catch if if you can.

JM
The Title Character of ‘It’s NOT ABOUT You John Michael’
Photo credit: JohnMichaelPlays.com

The crossroads and transitions of John Michael includes a job firing, eight places to live in two Chicago years, and a series of f**k-ups that can only be described as hilariously monumental (including a riff on his balls). It all is necessary for JM to come to some conclusions, and it really comes down to that human necessity of “it’s not all about me” and how those actions affect others.

To know John Michael is to know the person that is on stage. He strips away the artifice of any audience/performer separations to emphasize his actions as familiar life lessons. Deep down, beyond the person who can’t use shared kitchen appliances properly, is an amazing intellect and philosopher. Michael loves humanity even as he becomes distracted around it, and ultimately lives to love those around him (including his partner, who lives to introduce him to theater mavens, which JM promptly screws up). There is nothing but love on stage both from JM, and back from the audience, because we are all John Michael.

Chicago will miss John Michael when he’s gone, but I suspect someday he will be back, but it won’t be at a space as intimate and connective as Mary’s Attic. It will be the big time, however John Michael chooses to live, and present it.

For a Podtalk of the John Michael Experience, by Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com, CLICK HERE.

”It’s NOT ALL About You John Michael” has its FAREWELL PERFORMANCE on March 1st, 2019 (7:30pm), at Mary’s Attic, 5400 North Clark Street, Chicago. Featuring monologist John Michael. Directed by Sammy Zeisel.

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

By PATRICK McDONALD
Editor and Film Writer
HollywoodChicago.com
pat@hollywoodchicago.com

© 2019 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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