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Exploding with laughter at Guerra: A Clown Play

The Mexico City-based troupe La Piara make the military funny again.

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You guffaw at bombings. Atrocities. Attempted suicide. You hate yourself. But in your defense, Guerra: A Clown Play—performed by the Mexico City-based troupe La Piara in collaboration with Chicago writer-directors Seth Bockley and Devon de Mayo—just might be the funniest take on the military since Dr. Strangelove. At a distant outpost, a flirtatious general and his runty, Chaplin-esque subordinate fill their days with flag-raising and medal-awarding ceremonies. Then an exciting new war is announced! They manage to scrounge up one reluctant recruit, whom they outfit in a plastic helmet and "stinky old green jacket." The skeletal script, in English with a bit of Spanish and French thrown in, consists mostly of pomposities ripe for comedic exploitation. Sight gags and farcical physical comedy abound, as do pop-culture and high-art references—and death. Go. Hate yourself. You won't regret it.

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