The Russian Play: An Improvised Black Comedy | Improv/Sketch | Chicago Reader

The Russian Play: An Improvised Black Comedy Recommended Member Picks Agenda The Short List (Theater) Image

When: Mondays. Continues through June 17 2013

In this exceptional project, styled after Nikolai Erdman's The Suicide, the hero changes every week, but the bleak circumstances stay the same: a comrade who's been ejected from the workforce attempts to reenter it, is repudiated, and kills himself. On the night I attended, a welder played by Eric Harrington was chewed up by this cruel cycle over the course of five acts, which were bookended by his eulogy and accompanied by a dented two-piece Russian circus band. After losing a second welding job, the character consumes poison, slumps into a paisley armchair, and dreams of his metamorphosis into a gardener. It's here the players reveal their genius. Thronging round the sleepy hero, they unleash a continuous patter of clever details that summon viewers through a hallucinatory landscape. —Jena Cutie

Price: $8

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