Kumate! | Den Theatre | Improv/Sketch, Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Kumate! Free The Short List (Theater) Recommended

When: Thursdays-Saturdays. Continues through June 27 2015

It's hard to come up with a new improv concept in Chicago, but Ryan Williams's "one-man improvised Kung-Fu movie" succeeds as one of the weirdest, most unique productions in recent memory. Building off the audience suggestion of "birthday" on the night I attended, Williams created an elaborately plotted, physically demanding kung-fu story complete with pan flute into and outro, characteristic archetypes of the genre, and hilarious "overdubbed" dialogue. Williams's stamina and comedic timing are impressive—especially when he's playing every character in the Tarantino-caliber fight scenes. The show's preceded by an opening act that changes weekly; I saw Ali Barthwell, Erin Hickey, and Katie Froelich of Sweet Tease turn the suggestion of "sunburns" as a summer tradition into a fun, unexpectedly raunchy summer-camp scene where the girls debated the distinction between a caress and a canoodle, among other, more R-rated terms. —Marissa Oberlander

Price: free


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