Actual Size! | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Writer-performer Jeff Madden's solo show of sketches and songs is mildly amusing. But that's it. Each piece is over too quickly, with little character development, and there are too few laughs, though some bits are fun: a musical ode to adult education, a washed-up folkie's recollections of the real inspirations for his simple songs, and FDR's rebellion against his wife's rewrite of the "fear itself" speech. But the rest of this 45-minute show, directed by Adam Webster with live music by Cork Kangas, feels like single slice-of-life jokes unsuccessfully expanded. Madden's ruminations on cereal and his resentment at being expected to play basketball aren't biting or bold enough to be full-blown bits. --Jenn Goddu a Through 6/24: Sun 7:30 PM, Side Project Theatre, 1439 W. Jarvis, 312-953-6517, $15.

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