Spin/Off | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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SPIN/OFF, Corn Productions, at the Sweet Corn Playhouse. Andersonville locals objected to the opening of Spin/Off, the inaugural production of the newly christened Sweet Corn Playhouse, thinking it was to be the first in a long line of porn shows in the space.

They were wrong, of course. The specialty of the house is corn, not porn. The Corn Productions folks delight in poking fun at sacred cows like Jesus, the American west, and feel-good TV shows. Using an excessive, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink style of comedy--reminiscent of Charles Ludlam, Factory Theater, and the broad, loose traditional styles of the Grand Ole Opry and Hee-Haw--the folks at Corn have put together a wildly uneven two hours of corny jokes, cheap costumes, over-the-top acting, and a flash or two of real satire, as in Patrick Brooks and Robert Bouwman's brilliantly funny "Trisha Pray's Christian Comedy Hour."

Most of the sketches feel slapped together--some are too long, some too short--and overall the show seems underrehearsed. Still, there are enough moments of inspired comic invention to suggest that, with a little more rehearsal (OK, a lot more) and less interference from outside forces, the next show may be every bit as subversive and comically devastating as some people might fear. --Jack Helbig

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