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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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Monday, October 2

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Event Sun Oct 04 2009

Review -- Stripped: An Unplugged Evening With Marilyn's Dress @ Gorilla Tango Theatre

Of the dozen or so people in the audience on opening night, I am fairly certain that I was the only one not personally connected to the band through the bonds of blood, friendship or commerce. The band, starring Jeremy M. Eden as front man Talon St. Lee, Dan Eden as bassist Cyrus Long and Kevin Kirchman as Brodie the Roadie - who doubles as a guitarist, was originally conceived as a homework assignment for a high school film class in 2002. Onstage, it unfolded like a post-Thanksgiving dinner skit designed for an audience of family members, and although uneven, it had some genuinely inspired moments.

Who among us haven't thought up names for rock bands we'll never actually bring to life? Not only does Marilyn's Dress have a great band name, they also have an oeuvre of fictional albums with titles like: Receding Tan Line. For a fake band, their lyrics and playing skills aren't half bad, but their real strength is in the pre-recorded spots shown intermittently throughout the act. In a send-up of MTV Cribs, Talon St. Lee shows a film crew around his 660 square foot apartment, and Cyrus Long stars in an instructional video on how to play bass, aptly titled: Cyrus Long Teaches You How To Play Bass.

Some of the best moments of the performance came in the form of ad-libbed dialogue. During a Q&A segment midway through the show, Talon St. Lee answered the question of what his favorite song is with "O Canada," and when asked whether he was a real blond - further clarified by Cyrus Long as meaning that the "carpet matches the drapes," his answer was an off-the-cuff "I have hardwood floors."

Talon St. Lee's all-purpose British accent is a little too derivative of Spinal Tap, and although it did lead to a decent joke - once it was revealed that St. Lee's hometown is Pittsburgh he chimed in with "if Madonna can get away with it surely I can," it seemed like a long way to go for a punchline, and I couldn't help thinking that he'd be funnier without it.

Brodie the Roadie had the best stage presence of the group, his understated delivery and quiet punchlines coming off naturally despite his background role.

The performers had made their exit and were standing outside the theater by the time I left the building. "Thanks for coming," I heard one of them say as I made my way to the Blue Line, and it sounded genuine. It is a testament to the cultural life of this city that there is room in the music and theater scene for a show like this, as well as to the courage of the performers in bringing the show to the stage. We should all be so brave.

Marilyn's Dress is performing at the Gorilla Tango Theatre on Saturday nights at 10pm through October 17, tickets are $10. For information and tickets call 773-598-4549 or visit Gorilla Tango Theatre.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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