No Se, No Se | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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No Se, No Se, I Don't Know!! Productions, at the Cornservatory, through June 1. Looking around the small Cornservatory space, an enterprising producer might say, hell, for 20 bucks I could keep a full house in cheap beer for a whole show. The link between macrobrews and comedy is well established, but handing out cans at the door, as happens during this evening, bespeaks mild genius. Though the three monologues in No Se, No Se are unrelated beyond an admirable shared efficiency, they unite into a single, steady gesture thanks to a similarly cunning manipulation of the audience's attention.

Starting things off is stand-up comedian Monte, a loud, cheerful guy whose deceptively careless, accessible set and self-deprecating persona ease us into sustained focus on a single player. Next is John Hetzel, riffing on media-junkie minutiae in a giddily precise impersonation of a stand-up comedian. Distilling and commenting on this synthetic cipher demands all sorts of technique, but again it's his persona that's crucial, subtly propelling character from background to foreground. Then director Ingrid Bonne hands out more beer, and Sergi Bosch dives into the long title monologue, adopting the character of bizarre Spanish-American woman Reina Goya. By this time the audience is locked into scrutiny of every mannerism, and Bosch gives a nuanced, responsive performance that's often quite funny. And, well--did I mention the beer?

--Brian Nemtusak

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