Armando Diaz Evente | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Performing Arts Review

Armando Diaz Evente



Armando Diaz Evente, FuzzyCo, at WNEP Theater. Few things are harder to pull off than long-form improvisation. And even when it works, it's not for anyone wedded to the traditions of climax, denouement, etc. However, those who enjoy seeing characters and situations developed out of thin air should appreciate this clever ensemble's proficiency. From the audience suggestion of "divorce court session," FuzzyCo's six men and five women created a courtroom scene involving sexual infidelity, a confused jury (do divorce courts have juries?), and a lawyer who speaks through a hand puppet and believes he's a god. This bit expanded into a family situation loosely involving some of the courtroom characters and others who watch the antics unfold on TV.

The group's strength on opening night was its ability to maintain characters while moving thinnish stories forward. Especially adept were Rob Smith as the lawyer-god, Zach Ward (a Giovanni Ribisi-meets-Andy Kaufman lost boy), and Dina Facklis as a mother figure who makes her own soap. Most important, the humor was consistently based in character; no one went for easy (i.e. potty) laughs. In fact, the players weren't focused on laughs at all but on drawing out the natural humor of the situations. Intricate plot lines and in-depth psychology? Hell no, but that's why we have Eugene O'Neill. Watching artists fly without a net is a different kind of fun.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  →