Cardiff Giant | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader
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Cardiff Giant are the proverbial local guys made good: Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis, who formed the troupe that brought thinking satire from Jimmy's Woodlawn Tap to a benighted Rogers Park, have gone on to win 2001 Obie and 2002 Tony awards for Urinetown, their musical salute to lavatories. Earlier musical efforts include Cardiff Giant's 1992 AfterTaste, a show about fatal food, and the fretfully zany A Beggar's Holiday, produced at Ann Sather restaurant in 1992, as well as LBJFKKK, whose title tells you all you need to know. (The other three Cardiff Giant musicals were Love Me, Rancho Obscuro, and All Eight Die.) Buoyed by Patrick Sinozich's songs, all were clever cartoons full of quirky touches, including dance numbers that might have been outtakes from The Gong Show. This weekend Cardiff Giant members return to their roots. Concluding the Chicago Improv Festival is a 45-minute show (on a double bill with Bassprov) by Kotis, Hollmann, Laura Fisher (currently appearing in the Goodman's Trojan Women), Scott Hermes (a Neo-Futurist alum), John Hildreth (a Second City ETC alum), and Phil Lortie (now a Toronto actor-writer). Two other Cardiff Giant vets--Toronto actor-writer Hannah Fowlie and former Neo-Futurist Phil Ridarelli--emcee. If you missed the company then, you've got another chance now to sample comedy glory. Athenaeum Theatre, main stage, 2936 N. Southport, 312-902-1500. Sunday, May 18, 8 PM. $25. (The reconstituted troupe will also perform Saturday, May 17, at 8 PM at the Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland. Free.)

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