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Scooby-Doo Mystery Theatre

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Scooby-Doo Mystery Theatre, New Millennium Theatre Company, at Boxer Rebellion Theater. Bring your jammies and a bowl of cereal to this grown-up but authentic reenactment of the Saturday morning classic, expertly adapted and directed by Chad Wise. Wise piles the whole gang--Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, and of course Scooby--into their pink and green flowered Mystery Machine for two adventurous episodes complete with headless monster, hidden treasure, out-of-context celebrity guest appearances, and criminals shaking their fists at "those meddling kids!" The twist: Scooby's not really a dog, a fact lost on his companions--he's a potty-mouthed stoner with a wicked sense of humor and deep ganja-induced insights into the others (Velma's not gettin' any, and pretty-boy Fred has sexual identity issues).

Given the title, I did not have high expectations. However, certified Scoobologist Wise has hit upon a hilarious combination of vintage cartoon effects, lowbrow humor, and surprise. The casting, either a stroke of genius or luck, is dead-on. In fact Zenna Gustafson (Velma), with her tight, shrieky voice and bug-eyed expressions, may actually be a cartoon. Posing and mugging, the group makes its way through scene after scene of bad TV dialogue and video chase sequences through the Loop, Navy Pier, and other parts of town, set to the same 70s hippie music as the original (sound track courtesy of Scooby-Doo's Snack Tracks: The Ultimate Collection, available on Amazon.com). ZOINKS! I think it's groovy.

--Kim Wilson

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