The Acquaintances | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The Acquaintances

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The Acquaintances, at Wing & Groove Theatre. I first saw the Acquaintances in February, at their debut show. Then they showed promise, and six months later it's clear they've improved. Their material is sharper, and the five ensemble members perform with more confidence (though they continue to need greater consistency in the deeper character work).

Still happily grounded in pop culture and social satire, their sketches are much more ambitious. The parody of MGD beer ads employs a rapist, a pedophile, and a clergyman--audacious but bang-on choices. And who can't relate to the apprehension of a woman who asks her fiance to sign a "fatty prenup" or "fugly nup," contractually banning weight gain and ugly kids? Also well-done are bits about turning the 911 emergency number into a 9/11 "up-and-coming" support hot line and a PTA meeting where people are determined to make America a better place by passing bizarre motions based on their sense of political correctness.

No director is credited, and that's what Jenny Kozeluh, Jason Williams, Kate Gallagher, Jim Noonan, and Jay Steigmann need at this point. Their ideas are original and their social commentary is cutting, but someone outside the troupe could help them edit the scenes that go astray or lose steam.

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