Trois | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Trois, ComedySportz. What's interesting about this long-form improv show is that it's not funny, exactly, though there are funny moments. Instead, under the direction of Susan Messing, the evening is warmly amusing, like a night out with friends who are natural storytellers.

Katie Caussin, Lori McClain, and Alida Vitas are virtuoso performers, and it's clear they enjoy one another. At their best they're gutsy and outrageous--in an operetta about the sexual proclivities of lesbians, for instance, and a sketch about a lascivious priest who wants to dissect a student. But even in this remount their styles haven't quite meshed. Each actor first gives a monologue that somehow relates to a single audience suggestion (on opening night the word "frog" led to stories about a home aquarium, a night at summer camp, and the French). From there the three move into sketches and additional monologues, each of which usually riffs on the bit just before.

It's a joy to watch the ensemble's creative leaps as they weave previously mentioned themes--Lithuania, cabbage--into their sketches, but too often they fail to hit the heights of hilarity because they upstage one another (McClain is especially guilty). Technical director Tom Farnan has a gift for cutting sketches off when they start to flag.

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