Teddy Blessing's Adult Swim | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Teddy Blessing's Adult Swim

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Teddy Blessing's Adult Swim, Swab Productions, at Live Bait Theater. Written and directed by Dave Taylor, this rough but occasionally inspired comedy revue looks at obsessive behavior in dating, religion, art, employment, and a few other areas as well. The cast of seven (including Taylor) brings youthful if sometimes unfocused enthusiasm to this late-night show's 13 sketches. In "Starbuck Trek"--a delightfully silly send-up of Trekkies and latte culture--a beleaguered team of baristas deals with the meltdown of critical coffeehouse systems. A piece about a desperate man (Tom McNamara) burglarizing his best friends' home ends with a sly dig at Scientology. (Here come the letters, Dave!) The edgiest piece concerns a group of seemingly addled senior citizens who terrorize their aggressively upbeat, condescending activities coordinator (Sandra Chavez) by sharing the horrifying sins they committed in their youth.

There are some duds here--apparently Taylor didn't get the memo saying that it's old hat to parody clueless blue hairs watching performance art. And the ensemble's uneven energy means that a few sketches dribble off rather than end with a punch. But Taylor's attempt to focus on an interesting theme, combined with his ability to avoid hogging the limelight onstage, makes this show a welcome relief from the many vanity revues clogging Chicago stages.

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