One Fal$e Note, or How to Rob a Bank | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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One Fal$e Note, or How to Rob a Bank

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The history of bank robbery is like a history of the United States. Born of the right to bear arms (guns + greed = robbery), it's evolved into bloodless battles between computers. Plasticene's often humorous 90-minute show takes a quirky-compendium approach to the subject: each of the four performers adopts a criminal persona, from the famous (Jesse James, John Dillinger) to the lesser known (Willie Sutton, Phil Christopher). Though the show can get clogged with facts, and an onstage band occasionally drowns out the lines, under Dexter Bullard's direction the actors make clever use of a few props: stanchions, the retractable tapes that connect them, and openwork metal "cages" used as bank podiums, horses, and cars. The second half is less dutiful and more fun, as the actors loosen up and delve into some interesting tidbits. By the time they've covered little-known statistics, robbers' nicknames, robbers' stupid mistakes, and the ways the banking industry robs us (as in the S and L scandal of the 80s), you feel like taking down a bank yourself. a Through 11/5: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 3 PM, Storefront Theater, Gallery 37 Center for the Arts, 66 E. Randolph, 312-742-8497, $15-$20.

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