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American Idle 

Truth and fiction are inseparable

There's this guy Eldon, and he's a total loser — the perfect schmuck, if you will. One night in a bar, he's offered the deal of his pointless little life: the starring role in a new reality series. He'll be given a million dollars, and cameras will record and broadcast his every moment for a week. The name of this amazing program? The Dead Guy. At the end of the week, the audience votes on how Eldon must commit suicide. Eric Coble's black comedy The Dead Guy seemed one step beyond reality when it was written in 2006, but now comes word that Survivor host, Jeff Probst, has a new show in the works: Live Like You're Dying, in which people with terminal illnesses live one last adventure for the amusement of the home audience. We're through the looking glass, people. HotCity Theatre stages the fictional reality show The Dead Guy at 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, at 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and at 7 p.m. Sunday (November 21 through December 6; no show on Thursday, November 27) at the Kranzberg Arts Center (501 North Grand Boulevard; 314-289-4063 or www.hotcitytheatre.org). Tickets are $20 to $25.
Fri., Nov. 21; Sat., Nov. 22; Sun., Nov. 23; Fri., Nov. 28; Sat., Nov. 29; Sun., Nov. 30; Thu., Dec. 4; Fri., Dec. 5; Sat., Dec. 6, 2008

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