The Spew Police . . . Suffergush Returns and Two Wheels Good | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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The Spew Police . . . Suffergush Returns and Two Wheels Good


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Restraint is not the first word that comes to mind with the Curious Theatre Branch. These artists' near operatic-length productions have often seemed the playgrounds for their rare imaginations--from Bryn Magnus's twisted fairy tale Natural Hostages to Beau O'Reilly's blue-collar comedy Let the Dolly Do the Work to Jenny Magnus's highly conceptual In. But with their most recent production, which inaugurates their new performance space, the Curious artists play it uncharacteristically close to the vest. Both of these richly poetic one-man performances--Mark Comiskey's Two Wheels Good and O'Reilly's The Spew Police...Suffergush Returns--are restrictively staged, the artists following nearly unvarying paths, literally circling the audience over and over. Comiskey rides a bicycle, rhapsodizing about the moment just before the death of a downtown messenger, and O'Reilly shuffles and gallops, wheezing, around the audience, a lonely loser railing against the personal affronts he perceives to be lining Clark Street. The performers' tightly controlled, repetitive motions provide a crisp background against which their inventive verbal imagery achieves an extraordinary focus. Curious Theatre Branch, 1836 W. North, 276-1147. Through March 19: Fridays-Saturdays, 8 PM. $7, or "pay what you can."

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