Conrad Brunst Presents . . . Danse Macabre | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Conrad Brunst Presents . . . Danse Macabre

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The body count in Teatro Bastardo's improvised show is high, but the performers are more focused on getting laughs than on giving us chills. Using a title suggested by the audience, they spoof the mayhem and melodrama of 1930s monster movies by fictional director Brunst. On the night I attended, "The Claw" was the evening's inspiration, and a fez-wearing musicologist feverish about his work began a ruthless rampage in Ohio. His motives were muddy, but director Joe Janes's cast wasn't much concerned with straightforward storytelling anyway. Even after cheating by leaving the stage near the end--apparently to plot a denouement--the group couldn't wrap things up neatly. What we enjoy are the silver-screen characterizations (haughty socialite, anxious foreign maid, puffed-up playboy) and the confidence with which the ensemble members interact, accompanied on piano by Mike Descoteaux. Through 10/30: Sat 11:30 PM. Second City Training Center, Donny's Skybox Studio, Piper's Alley, 1608 N. Wells (fourth floor), 312-337-3992 or 877-778-4707. $5-$8.

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