Devotion | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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DEVOTION, at ImprovOlympic. Written and performed by husband-and-wife team Brian and Emily Wilson, this comedy revue riffs on the vagaries of meeting, marrying, and settling in. The perky couple add texture to their performance with music, warbling rhythm-and-blues ballads, playing guitar, and generally using songs as emotional triggers. On an unspoken level, Devotion seems to acknowledge that we've all mixed a secret score for the movie that is our life.

It's easy to identify with the couple's experiences as college daters, newlyweds, and quarrelsome passive-aggressives (at one point the phrase "dream crusher" is hurled like a javelin). The sketches in which they reveal to the audience what they were really thinking during their early dates are highlights, as are chronic reappearances by the wife's old boyfriend, who shows up whenever the couple is feuding--at the parking valet, IKEA, Best Buy. The boyfriend tries to win her back by playing the song they used to make love to ("In Your Eyes") on his headphones, car radio, even a boom box in the Best Buy electronics section. You get the feeling he's had the music on perpetual replay for years precisely for this purpose. Devotion will strike a chord with anyone who's struggled to extinguish the one flame that refuses to be quenched and put postadolescent adolescence to rest.

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