Unfiltered, Those Guys | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Performing Arts Review

Unfiltered, Those Guys


Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


UNFILTERED, THOSE GUYS, Six Pack Productions, at ImprovOlympic. What a difference an intermission makes. Whatever the Six Pack Productions cast is taking between the two acts of Unfiltered, Those Guys, it transforms a sophomoric, forgettable sketch-comedy revue into a mildly funny show. The most engaging bits are those that attempt the least. The electric finger work of a high school band conductor who flashes dirty looks at an overbearing percussion section is the show's simplest yet wittiest moment. A scene in which the cast derides one performer's naughty-minded sketch idea is both delightfully self-deprecating and surprisingly mature. And a Barnum-like wrap-up of the evening's running gags ends the show on a high note.

But these bits represent a total of about 20 minutes--and the rest of the show is an amalgam of overworked, underfunny scenes with nearly indistinguishable characters and truckloads of worn jokes: carelessly performed butch drag, fag gags of the variety that assumes homosexuality is hilarious, silly hats, a crass Hitler scene. There's even a mildly retarded, overenunciating character, Mr. Cooney, who elicits easy laughs with his lame, thinly veiled allusions to Ed Grimley.

The energetic cast are good-natured, but their efforts are swallowed up by the third-rate yuks and overblown yarns. Only Matt Chapman stands out, buoyed by an oddball delivery, sharp timing, and the shrewd mug of a young Bob Hope.

--Erik Piepenburg

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Add a comment