Cocksurehanded | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Cocksurehanded, at Bailiwick Repertory. Apparently Jon Bigness can write, add up his IQ, and jerk off with the same hand. Certainly one hand was all I needed to count the laughs in his vapid sketch-comedy revue, a callous, shallow suckfest that makes Defending the Caveman look like a brilliant meditation on gender relations. A self-described "fledgling comedy writer," Bigness perhaps deserves a bit of a break on this effort. But the script is chock-full of gaffes (the "penis polka" isn't even a polka), and his punch lines deflate faster than a torn whoopee cushion. Writing woefully unfunny scenes about tampons, Telemundo, and inner-city drug dealers, Bigness seems hell-bent on offending nearly everyone, and certainly Cocksurehanded is an affront to decency and intelligence everywhere.

You've got to hand it to Bigness and director Frank Farrell for anticipating the audience's reaction: they've dimmed the lights and transformed the Bailiwick main stage into a reasonable facsimile of a mortuary. The six members of the all-male cast do their best to lighten the mood by dropping cues, bumbling about onstage, and making their characters as flat and one-dimensional as Bigness's impoverished material. But the stench of death filling the theater is inescapable. After 90 minutes of testicle grabbing and "Me Tarzan, you Jane" poppycock, even the actors seem resigned to their fate as pallbearers, ushering the corpse of comedy to its shallow grave. You'd get more comedic bang for your buck from a pile of plastic baby vomit.

--Nick Green

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