You Asked for It! | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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You Asked for It!

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A decade after Russian-American conceptual artists Komar and Melamid surveyed various countries to create the most and least desirable paintings, writer-director Greg Allen sent out a nationwide questionnaire to determine what Americans want in a play. Results from his 2,200 responses, cunningly summarized in the show's opening minutes, reveal the uselessness of statistics--the Neo-Futurists are more popular than Shakespeare, for example. The "best" and "worst" plays, created by Allen and four winning performers from the data, are understandably unwieldy: Americans apparently most want a secular, realistic play starring an inspiring god and "an ordinary undead." Too often the company skirts scripting challenges by defaulting to its usual self-consciousness, and the evening is too long, but freewheeling performances make it appealingly goofy. --Justin Hayford a Through 3/3: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland, 773-275-5255, $10-$15, "pay what you can" Thu.

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