Tables and Beds Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Wednesdays-Saturdays. Continues through April 6 2013

Watch a mediocre TV sitcom and you'll probably come across a familiar trope: dialogue that has the sound, rhythm, and delivery of a joke, but nothing particularly funny at its core. The A.V. Club's Todd VanDerWerff calls this the "like-a-joke" (the term was coined by the TV writer Denis McGrath), and it provides the basis of much of Chicago Theater Sweatshop's inaugural production. Two couples—one gay, one straight—lament the long-term relationship, trade chiding quips, and, predictably enough for an oddball comedy, go in for some sexual experimentation. Unlike the sitcoms it resembles, this two-act from writer and director Emilio Williams isn't limited to a half hour. The remainder's puffed up with metatheatrics, a dead-end crime tangent, and dramatic soliloquies. —Dan Jakes

Price: $30

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