Trust Funnin' | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Trust Funnin'


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Trust Funnin', Red Robin Productions, at WNEP Theater. Steve Scholz's one-man sketch-comedy show supposedly examines the nature of trust, but that's the kind of thing pretty much devised for press releases only. When it comes to nuts and bolts, he's a capable performer who's mastered a variety of ethnic accents, never makes concessions to political correctness, and succeeds at the muted mannerisms and precise object work usually lost in this type of comedy. Recent experiments with the solo-improv Sybil are evident in his finely etched character work, and overall the material is admirably polished.

However, Scholz is preoccupied with tweaking his wardrobe to underscore his different characters, which leads to a series of deadening blackouts. Some clever video footage--including mudslinging TV spots by two brothers running for the same office--helps sustain interest while Scholz darts behind the curtain and back again. Better might be a manic onstage costume change--or even eliminating costume changes entirely. His hormonal teen at a Nashville convenience store works with or without a ponytail--Scholz looks fetching in a variety of wigs, mind you, but he should place a little more trust in his ability to connect with an audience.

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