When the Fog Begins to Lift | Annoyance Theatre | Improv/Sketch | Chicago Reader

When the Fog Begins to Lift New Review (Theater and Comedy) Image

When: Sundays. Continues through July 2 2017

The lights come up on an empty stage. Two audience members with duct-tape mustaches storm forward. Surprise! They were in on the gag! So begins When the Fog Begins to Lift, a sketch comedy so meta it calls out its own meta-ness. Like when painful memories trigger a freeze and the Kill Bill soundtrack, and the only character aware of this meta-on-meta device wants to kill (Bill) himself. The plot is loosely about destroying quaint Portsmouth, New Hampshire, but I lost track when the actors—powering through lines like kids through Halloween candy—introduced or called back townsfolk by holding up wigs next to their wigs, then running off- and onstage in a hail of “fuck”-storms. Their vitriol and “fucks” are aimed mostly at the stage manager, whom they say isn’t good enough to be in the show. But he’s the only one tempering metamissteps with genial smiles. He comes out during blackouts and rearranges chairs, is caught onstage when the lights come up, reamed out by hopped-up actors, heading off overwhelmed with glee to be part of the show—even if the fourth wall of this jagged rhombus has already dissipated. —Steve Heisler

Price: $8

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