Guilty As Charged | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Guilty As Charged


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GUILTY AS CHARGED, Perfect Gentlemen, at ImprovOlympic. Dave Taylor, who does clueless well, and tall, goofy Jeff Madden present an intermittently amusing hour-long revue. These are quirky character-based sketches from the first bit, in which humorless antagonists pompously proclaim the adiposity of their opponent's mother, to the last, in which Madden exploits his 2 percent Native American blood not knowing that his is the sole tribe that was never oppressed.

Most of the scenes, unfortunately, go on too long, perhaps because they lack neat twists to sum them up. And they don't build. There are few surprises besides the baroque dialogue: in the sharpest scene, two debate nerds aim to pick up girls at Daytona Beach by displaying their trove of trivia. But one bit, where Brits argue over whether to go to Cracker Barrel, only serves to expose the performers' faltering accents. No question, these "gentlemen" have sharply honed comic skills and a good grasp of failure in action. Now if they can only figure out how--and when--to end their sketches.

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