A3: This Time It's Awesome | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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A3: This Time It's Awesome

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A3: THIS TIME IT'S AWESOME, Awesome Show, at ImprovOlympic. Peter Gwinn and Meagan O'Brien's 45-minute revue suggests what can be great and not so great about sketch comedy. What's great is its plethora of fresh ideas: acting students working at Starbucks, serving up lattes and Meisner exercises; two Abu Ghraib prisoners laughing at guards so dumb they put prisoners in hoods and expose their own faces; a megalomaniac in jail finding out, to his horror, that his inventions of mass destruction are curing cancer and saving the world. Kudos also to the baby doll playing the ancillary characters. Not so great is that most of the scenes have no real ending. And some of the sketches wander into the realm of barf and poop, where we just don't need to go anymore (although one bit did make me wonder how a ghost fart would smell).

Even in the silly moments, it's fun to watch the kinetic connection between Gwinn and O'Brien, who are clearly having a great time, selling even white rap and an off-key ballad with flair. And during last Friday's performance they resumed the show without skipping a beat after paramedics had to remove one audience member. While the evening is less "awesome" than it is amusing, affable, and antic, A3 is a fun late-night diversion.

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