Greg Mills Is Billy Falconberger | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Greg Mills Is Billy Falconberger


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GREG MILLS IS BILLY FALCONBERGER, Second City E.T.C. It's not surprising that Greg Mills's one-man show has three subtitles, all of them tired imitations of Second City's threadbare tradition of pun-filled names: "Quarter Pounder With Jesus or Leggo My Ego or Sacre Bleu Balls." The one thing you leave Mills's show knowing for sure is that he's an expert at generating lots of derivative, half-baked comedy ideas.

Mills's alter ego, Billy Falconberger, is a sometime saloon singer, sometime stand-up, reminiscent of Bill Murray's obnoxious lounge lizards and numerous imitations of bad comedians by comedians. The few original songs he sings are never quite original or insightful enough to be funny for longer than a minute. The best moments are those when Mills reflects on his life--and even these rarely rise above the usual meditations on the horrors of high school romances (or lack thereof) and on the equally scary world of adult relationships.

The longer you watch Mills go through the motions, the more convinced you are that he's learned all the mechanics of writing comedy without picking up the ability, or even the desire, to say anything new.

--Jack Helbig

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