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Let My People Come at Street Tempo Theatre | Theater review

A goofy Off Broadway musical artifact encourages us to embrace our inner sex machines.

Photograph: Brian Peterlin
Let My People Come at Street Tempo Theatre

A kind of Up with People about getting down with people, this 1974 Off Broadway revue is surface-level sex-positive but feels pretty tame in the 21st century. The performers introduce themselves in the opening number using their own names, and proceed to inform us of the ages at which they lost their virginity. Interspersed among the musical numbers celebrating sexual freedom, a few of them offer personal tales of their own sexual discoveries.

Given that this particular ensemble, marking the inaugural production of Stage 773’s resident musical theater, is made up mostly of students or recent graduates of Columbia College Chicago’s musical theater program, those personal revelations feel a bit lacking in the revelation department. The sexual epiphanies of actors in their early twenties may not be so compelling for audience members with a few more years’ experience. Similarly, some of Earl Wilson Jr.’s songs come off as less than current: In an early ballad, male cast members earnestly and apologetically tell their parents they’re gay.

Still, the performers’ skill and spunk (no pun intended) and the show’s relentlessly pre-P.C. sensibility tend to wear down our resistance. Having never seen a show more gleefully intent on making me consider the joys of cunnilingus, I giggled in spite of myself. That this production’s actors reveal themselves as never-nudes, in contrast with the Off Broadway actors’ naked pride, does somewhat diminish the sexy message, but it’s an enjoyable hour of prodding the prudes among us.

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