Sweet Ride | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Paula Killen's twitchy, addled solo performances in the late 80s and 90s made you wonder whether she'd ever relax onstage. It seemed to calm her nerves a bit to team up with salty stand-up Karol Kent in 1991 for the whiskey-soaked cabaret Music Kills a Memory, which ran on and off for seven years. Now that Killen's had a kid, moved to LA, and enjoyed an eight-month run at the Upright Citizens Brigade there, she's grounded at last, as her captivating performance here last summer in the hour-long, semi-improvised Sweet Ride proved. She and Kent reteam in a longer run as two women on a car trip, revealing the power an old friendship has to stave off loneliness. In this digressive piece they listen to classic rock, ponder their ill-fated love lives, and work each other's last nerves while supposedly drunk director Susan Messing tosses in hilarious non sequiturs from the backseat. a Opens Thu 1/4, 8 PM. Through 1/13: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Annoyance Theatre, 4840 N. Broadway, 773-561-4665, $10.

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