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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Tuesday, March 5

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Theater Wed Apr 10 2013

Great Nebula Productions Presents: Plus Size

bledsoe.jpgIn any given circle of close female friends, various personalities commonly exist; from "Good Glenda" to "Practical Paula" to "Seductive Susie" and others, the differences in these women's styles are what make the group fun, interesting, and unique.

But what happens then, if or when, there is a "Fat Frances" in the group?

In Robert Bledsoe's Plus Size, directed by Lee Peters, the so-called "designated fat friend" syndrome and its effect on women, friendship and weight loss is addressed.

For Bledsoe, a Chicago native, a conversation with a friend provided him with the concept for the play. "One day, my friend asked me a question and I didn't know if it was a rhetorical one or what," he said. "She took diet pills and thought she was losing weight--she wanted acknowledgment from [other] women but she wasn't getting it."

Plus Size centers on Belinda, a 20-something "woman of size," who hangs out weekly at a dance club with her group of [slimmer] girlfriends and begins to notice the attention they receive. One night, after making small talk with the bartender, he enlightens her that she is in fact the "designated fat friend." After hearing this revelation, she gets hold of a fitness DVD and pursues a lifestyle change of exercise, hoping to turn things around for herself.

When writing the script, Bledsoe envisioned the outcome as one where all sides would take something away from the story. "I'm not looking to get answers--I'm raising questions," he said. "I just knew I wanted to touch on the seriousness of losing weight and I wanted to have some type of fun with it."

And for audience members who may have concerns about the play's message of body image and dieting becoming too deep, Bledsoe assures that while the story is in part informational, they will indeed have a great time. "Hey, no one likes to be beat over the head with information, but if you find a way to make serious issues funny, then people are more receptive to hearing that message."

Plus Size opens tonight at 7:30pm at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., and runs through Apr. 14; tickets are $45 and are on sale online and at the box office. For more information, call 773-404-7336.

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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

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By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

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