Classified | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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San Francisco performer seeks Chicago audience for weekend of high-energy, thought-provoking fun. In his early 20s, Fred Adler is an artist in progress; this two-part work about a young man's anxious quest for employment and housing is less strong on subtlety than on brash vigor. But it's an intelligent and exuberant piece that will speak especially effectively to anyone who's ever suffered the identity crisis that can accompany sudden joblessness or living-space insecurity. Recalling the work of Chicago's New Crime Productions, Adler combines classic commedia dell'arte techniques with manically modern rawness, using masks to impersonate a macho control-freak job interviewer and his working-girl assistants and cavorting about the stage with a dancer's grace and a football player's force. Maskless, he suggests a young cross between Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Englund as he regales the audience with a stream of absurd, sardonic word games to chart the evolution of "the new, improved homo mechanicus, ready to rip out your mother's teeth for $23,000 and one day's paid vacation." Pillar Studio, 311 N. Desplaines, 258-9005. April 22 through May 1: Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 PM. $10-$12; $3 discount for persons bringing their resumes.

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