Snatchville | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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SNATCHVILLE, Giants in the Sky Productions, at Donny's Skybox Studio. This late-night musical comedy is held together by a giant Band-Aid: the hilarious 76-year-old storytelling brothers Jethro and Jamal Brown (Seth Thomas and Samson Crouppen), whose narration frames each scene. Without their banter to liven things up, the cumulative dullness of writer-director Jason Flowers's largely unfunny songs would be overwhelming. Even with it, only isolated numbers come off.

A lot of Snatchville feels tired. Its overriding shtick that "musicals are silly" and "even sillier when R-rated" is a well-worn improv convention, and a page taken straight from the South Park joke book. An enthusiastic coming-out song, "My Two Dads," recalls a similar number from Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy. A cheap but funny Flashdance bit is one part South Park, one part Revenge of the Nerds, one part Jim Belushi on SNL. A Charlie Sheen send-up is just redundant. None of this is terrible, and some of the references are perversely apt. But often little is going on beyond recombination.

Chris Counts, as both the hero and nominal villain, does the best work of the cast, narrators excepted--if everyone tore into the songs the way he does, maybe more of the material would fly. Matt Elwell gives a wonderfully over-the-top gospel rendition of "Makeover in Prison," and Marz Timms, Jeff Ward, and Aaron Caponigro make every line count. The remaining players are average at best, compounding the script's mediocrity.

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