• Bob Fisher
  • You know what that harpoon stands for: a scene from All-Girl Moby Dick

There are practically no female characters, the title refers to a sperm whale, and the climax features said cetacean getting stabbed with a phallic harpoon. When it comes to Moby-Dick, the penis jokes write themselves, so an all-female adaptation is guaranteed to come off as either gimmicky or inspired. According to Kerry Reid, the Mammals’s All-Girl Moby Dick falls into the latter category.

Also on our recommended list this week is Hairspray, Drury Lane Oakbrook’s high-energy revival of the Broadway musical; The Late Live Show, a Conan-esque talk fest hosted by comedian Joe Kwaczala at Stage 773; and an appearance by Armitage Gone! Dance, offering three works choreographed by company artistic director Karole Armitage.

Surprisingly, the problem with Melancholy Play isn’t that it’s a downer, but that it suffers from an overdose of quirk. And Neil LaBute’s In a Forest, Dark and Deep turns out not to be so dark or deep after all. According to Justin Hayford’s lead review, it’s fairly obvious and mechanical.