Poverty: The Musical | Prop Thtr | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Poverty: The Musical Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Fridays. Continues through Feb. 11 2011

According to the program for this amiable, 45-minute goof of a show from Bruised Orange Theater, "all text, some songs, maybe lights, and most definitely sound design" are improvised at each performance. The set consists of cardboard placards, scrawled with phrases like "brushed steel appliances" and "cherrywood cabinets" and hung from a laundry line. There's none of the "Look, we're creating!" self-consciousness you sometimes get from improvisers. The whole thing is casual in the extreme. And it works nicely. The tale of Daniel and Sylvia, who go from flipping condos and collecting Prada to picking their wardrobe out of a green Gaia Movement box, is told with economy and good humor--and also a sly sort of compassion, as when Alison Connelly's Sylvia sings a ditty about having to take a shit in the woods. The song goes beyond inconvenience, embarrassment, and the ick factor to suggest her vulnerability out there in the cold and dark. --Tony Adler

Price: $12 online, $15 or pay what you can at the door

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