The Tiff and Mom Show | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The Tiff and Mom Show


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Corn Productions, at the Factory Theater.

Yes, it's gross and sophomoric. Yes, it draws on the wasteland of TV to make its points and connect with the audience. Yes, it's self-consciously incorrect and messy, often relying on drag performances for its laughs.

And yes, I enjoyed it. Watching episode one of The Tiff and Mom Show--"The Slumber Party," scheduled to be replaced by a new episode in eight weeks--is a little like gorging unapologetically on an entire pound of Dolly Madison Little Gem powdered-sugar doughnuts: dreadful stuff, but so good when you're in the mood. Presented as a TV sitcom, the show details the antics of teenaged binger Tiffani Tiffelmeyer (director and coplaywright Robert Bouwman in a very convincing wig) and her lovably drunken mother Mom Tiffelmeyer (played with yards of sleaze by coplaywright Todd Schaner). Of course they're surrounded by a cast of quirky friends, neighbors, and lovers who pop in at the expected odd moment.

The Tiff and Mom Show seems to owe a large debt of gratitude to Sean Abley and the Factory Theater production of Bitches; it boasts a mostly male cast in drag and concentrates with campy venom on mother-daughter relationships and peer pressures. Although this show isn't as sharp-witted and emotionally resonant as Abley's, it offers good cheap laughs and gross-outs--plenty of yuks and yucks--along with some comic performances so irresistibly energetic that even the sloppiness of the production becomes endearing.

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