First Time or Fan? | Under the Gun Theater | Improv/Sketch | Chicago Reader

First Time or Fan? The Short List (Theater) Recommended Image

When: Fridays. Continues through Feb. 24 2017

Think of it as a party game for Broadway nerds. First some singers present selections from a chosen musical. (Little Shop of Horrors on the night I attended.) Then they hand the stage over to a troupe of improvisers who've never heard of that musical but act it out anyway, based on the performed selections and a few other hints. The biggest problem I had was suspending my disbelief that actors capable of creating a 40-minute entertainment, complete with spontaneously composed songs, really didn't know Little Shop of Horrors. Still, they got the plot and characters wrong enough, often enough, charmingly and amusingly enough that I decided not to worry. The show is almost necessarily uneven, but the participants have the chops, smarts, and sense of rapport necessary to make it worthwhile. Tabitha Rooney sang a particularly touching rendition of "Somewhere That's Green" when I saw the show, Alex DiVirgilio was clever even when grossly mistaken, and Mike Movido did a fine, fine portrayal of a plant. —Tony Adler

Price: $12


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