Johnny Theatre Closing (Theater and Galleries) Member Picks The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Saturdays. Continues through May 19 2012

Even in a burgeoning theater community like Chicago's, storefront companies face a steep uphill battle to stay alive. Writers Kirk Pynchon and Mike Beyer pay homage to underappreciated Windy City artists in this satire about a Hollywood star returning to his roots to produce a play with the company that launched him. But if the references and shout-outs are local, the comic set pieces—a wacky audition montage, esoteric rehearsal exercises, bits about agents who exercise while taking business calls and order zany drinks—are purely generic. Beyer and Pynchon create enough good-natured smiles to fill a 15-minute sketch. Trouble is, Johnny Theatre runs two hours. —Dan Jakes

Price: $18

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