Arts & Culture » Performing Arts Review

The Lean Mean Green Screen Machine

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I feel terrible. Everybody at Improv Kitchen was so nice and the food was good, but the business with the televisions has to be the worst idea ever. The dining area here features webcams on the ceiling and big plasma TV screens at every table, a setup that allows three improvisers to see and be seen from a studio next door. The trio puts on skits, games, and general participatory tummel while patrons eat. I bet somebody thought the experience would be like having a wonderfully entertaining bunch of guests to dinner. Instead it's like what it is: eating in front of the TV--an annoying and rather sinister TV that watches you back. My wife and I were afraid to talk during breaks in the show, uncertain who might be listening. And then there's just something creepy about preferring a video feed when the real show's only a wall away. Through 1/15: Tue-Wed 7 and 9 PM, Thu 7 PM, Sat 7 and 9 PM. Fri 12/31, 10:30 PM. No show Sat 12/25. Improv Kitchen, 3419 N. Clark, 773-868-6423. $10.

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