A Hollywood-Styles WhoDunnit | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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A Hollywood-Styles WhoDunnit

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A Hollywood-Style WhoDunnit, at Second City, Donny's Skybox Studio. What little laughter there was at this lame late-night murder mystery came from a single person in the audience. And I have my suspicions who it was, given that someone coming from backstage after the performance said, "Hi mom." The rest of the people there were probably just as disappointed as I was when a character remarked about 20 minutes into the show, "It's way too early to figure this out." We had to witness another 30 minutes of B-list Hollywood stars traipsing around a mansion trying to determine who killed the host (Eight Is Enough's Willie Aames) at his own surprise birthday party. The only mystery here was which of the script's contrived motives writers Nancy and Jason Flowers (who also directs) were going to use to wrap up the evening.

The suspects in this ill-conceived show include Yasmine Bleeth, Shannen Doherty, Scott Baio, Dustin Diamond (Screech from Saved by the Bell), Anna Nicole Smith, and Gary Coleman. They're played by actors who anticipate jokes, miss cues, and behave in ways that contradict their lines. The best of the bunch go so far as to develop a one-note shtick for their characters. Watching a rerun marathon of any of the original shows would be more fun than sitting through this midnight mess.

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