The Fardale 7 | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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More quirky than funny, this scattershot hour-long chronicle by the sketch-comedy ensemble Backrow depicts seven childhood friends, now grown-ups, who took an oath of fealty to protect the stereotypical burg of Fardale from a child-devouring monster they also faced as kids. The joke is that life's distractions and the friends' own inherent obnoxiousness have undermined their dedication to the cause: only two show up to beard the creature in its lair when it reappears. The distractions vary from pointless to nasty, and the humor comes from dumbed-down small talk and a palpable, sometimes contagious delight in strangeness for its own sake. Not every scene carries its narrative weight. But the comic contrast between the deadly earnestness of childhood and adult perplexity sometimes strikes home. Through 5/13: Fri 8 PM. Red Hen Productions, Kenneth LeTraunik Theatre, 5123 N. Clark, 773-860-6880. $7.

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