That Darned Antichrist | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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That Darned Antichrist

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Though it has never been as popular as Coed Prison Sluts (still running after all these years), That Darned Antichrist is in many ways a more successful comedy, and not just because it has a funnier title. Created in 1990 as a follow-up to Prison Sluts, Antichrist is a more mature, more deeply layered work. It retains the mischievous taboo-breaking camp sensibility of Metraform's earlier efforts--the characters include a boy possessed by Satan, a dim father with a hair-trigger temper, and an accident-prone lesbian who keeps getting doused with various viscous and caustic fluids. But it's also the first Metraform show in which Mick Napier's comic actors have created (through improvisation!) characters who are compelling and real--as real as anything to come out of Method workshops. In the original production, Ellen Stoneking (as the possessed boy's sister) and Mark Sutton (as the dad) turned in performances that, if they weren't so funny, would not have been out of place in a serious drama. Antichrist was also the first Metraform show in which parodic musical numbers (by Real Live Brady Bunch cocreator Faith Soloway) were used not just for quick, easy laughs but also to comment on the story--or even advance it. In this way, Antichrist prefigures Metraform's great antimusical musicals, Manson: The Musical and Tippi: Portrait of a Virgin. For those who missed That Darned Antichrist the first time around, the Metraform folks have revived the show for a limited run. Annoyance Theatre, 3153 N. Broadway, 929-6200. August 13 through September 10: late Fridays, 12:30 PM. $7.

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