Lowbrow: The Sketch Show | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Lowbrow: The Sketch Show


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LOWBROW: THE SKETCH SHOW, Freshwater Theatre, at the Viaduct Theater. Don't be fooled by the title. The Freshwater ensemble may be aiming for dumb humor in this sketch-comedy revue, but the originality they bring to generic topics--blind dates, office parties, Broadway extravaganzas--is apparent from the get-go. Take the scenario featuring a mother and daughter hoping to win the Sweet Potato Pageant talent contest--an ambition unexpectedly facilitated by celestial intervention. Or the pair of baristas who pass the time not by complaining about their lot but composing witty catchphrases. The humor isn't all sunny, however: some audience members may squirm during an infomercial for a weight-loss program based on gastrointestinal engineering, the generic sales patter replicated with fearless accuracy.

In a departure from standard practice, this 70-minute show is performed by only three people. The pace never flags, however, not even during a tongue-twisting variation on the classic "Who's on First?" dialogue.

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