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Sports Bra & Grill

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SPORTS BRA & GRILL, True Pilsner, Second City, Donny's Skybox Studio. These ten Second City Conservatory graduates have good timing and some fresh ideas, but many of their testosterone-heavy sketches--most focusing on the Wrigleyville kind of young professional life--fall apart in the last few seconds. Take their fairly funny sketch about a group of old-west cowboys who back down from fights by adding moderating words like "if" and "almost" to their insults. The scene steams along until an interloper who doesn't know the rules leaves out the crucial words and starts a fight. Eventually you realize he's the only one not fighting, but you're not quite sure why, so this twist doesn't add the necessary punch to the ending.

The ensemble also manages to beat stereotypes to death: a gay man is fey and simpering, an "African-American" man (a white actor wearing a wig and talking ghetto) is high, a mentally disabled man asks annoying questions of an airport employee. Yet several sketches stand out for their cleverness. In a smart parody of the high school experience enhanced by funny choreography, a woman sings about the tragedy of being "human in an all-robot school." In another scene, two women join an all-male aerobics class that turns out to be wimpy: they're encouraged not to exercise but to pantomime songs like Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart."

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