The 36 Lineup | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The 36 Lineup, DSI Productions, at Frankie J's MethaDome Theatre. Your average five-member improv ensemble is usually good for 30 to 45 minutes of serviceable comedy, so you can see why smaller companies might band together to fill out an evening. But of the three groups in The 36 Lineup, only one appears able to sustain a premise for more than 90 seconds: the all-female Triplette, made up of Heather Simms, Laura Grey, and Rebecca Fox. Taking as their cue the audience suggestion of "a dozen roses," they set up a scenario in which high-powered career women questioned their feelings about themselves and one another, the dialogue always returning to the bouquet that precipitated their crisis.

Executive Burnout was handicapped on the night I attended because one member of the two-person group was absent; director Zach Ward substituted. Together he and Jin Kim eventually settled into reliable shtick, impersonating five occupants of a car carrying questionable cargo. Mark Campbell and Terri O'Reilly--aka Wicked Pear--likewise struck some nice notes in their cavalcade of snapshot sketches, though too often they spoke in dialects that muffled their words to the point of unintelligibility. At this point, only Triplette is worthy of a paying audience.

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