Chicago author Dave Reidy’s new collection of short stories, aptly titled “Captive Audience,” focuses on the act of performance and those who have immersed their lives into being in front of a crowd, on stage and otherwise. He dreams up alternate realities as Abe Vigoda and Francis Ford Coppola emerge as characters in some places; in a story called “Dancing Man,” REM joins in on the fun. The refreshing collection boasts a pleasing level of sentimentality that we’re sometimes just in need of, whether we admit it or not. “The Regular,” the book’s award-winning opener, takes karaoke to a new and, in many ways, devastating level. Reidy’s a talent, and “Captive Audience” offers his work in short, stocky spurts. It’ll be nice once we’re served a tall drink of water. (Tom Lynch)
Dave Reidy reads from “Captive Audience” June 27 at Darkroom, 2210 W. Chicago, 7pm.