Polish Joke | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Playwright David Ives is a miniaturist. Give him ten minutes or less and he'll create a small but brilliant one-act, like some of the gems in his best-known collection of absurdist comic pieces, All in the Timing. But give him 90 minutes or more and he loses his way, as he does in this two-act semiautobiographical play about a Chicago-born Polish-American, Jasiu. Some of the scenes are ingenious, like one in which Jasiu discovers he's invisible to a non-Polish shopkeeper. And some are touching, like those in which he has heart-to-hearts with authority figures in his life (an uncle, a favorite teacher)--though the success of these scenes may be attributable to director Patrick Carton's casting. Matt Schwader is particularly winning as Jasiu In this Noble Fool Theatricals production. But ultimately Polish Joke seems a collage of one-acts, scenes from Jasiu's decades-long, often annoyingly adolescent identity crisis. Through 6/18: Wed-Fri 8 PM, Sat 4:30 and 9 PM, Sun 2 PM. Pheasant Run Resort & Spa, 4051 E. Main (Rte. 64), Saint Charles, 630-584-6342. $27-$37; dinner-show package available.

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