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What Becomes of the Brokenhearted?

By Ali Trachta in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 6, 2008 7:48PM


You meet, you woo, and a soul-consuming love blossoms. Then you break up. And why is it you suddenly have so much to say to the very person you swore you’d never speak to again?

Letters/X, a comedic cabaret by the GroundUp Theatre, celebrates the melodramatic literary gold that can come in the form of tear-stained Dear John letters.

The show features funny skits, musical numbers and spoken word inspired by actual break-up letters. Hundreds of real notes, emails and late-night text messages to former flames were submitted, and through poetic license, the company turned them into a variety show that brings to life all the poignant rantings and ravings of their heartbroken writers. Opening with an ode to the impending dry spell, the crew sings, “I know I might miss the sex, but I just can’t wait to call you my ex.” Highlights from the vignettes that follow include a puppet show that plays out emails between lovers in a power struggle, and a distressed valley girl’s monologue apologizing to her boyfriend for a restroom rendezvous with another man. It’s a thought-provoking, relatable, and overall clever show that in many ways lets audience members say everything they never got to.

This year marks the fifth anniversary of Letters/X and to celebrate, this version of the show includes the best episodes of failed love affairs from the past four years. What results is a consistently entertaining show in which the actors never miss a beat and the audience finds a healthy and humorous outlet for their pain.

The program has been running at the Hungry Brain in Roscoe Village, and wraps up this Saturday with their final show at 8:00 p.m. The show is free, but we think you’ll find that this small but mighty performance deserves your voluntary donation.

The Hungry Brain, 2319 W. Belmont.

Image courtesy of Mac3.