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Poker Night at the White House 

Earlier this year Porchlight Music Theatre set the Harding administration to music in The Teapot Scandals. This new comedy for the Neo-Futurists, written by Sean Benjamin and directed by Sean Daniels, also looks at corruption in the Harding cabinet but focuses more on the 29th president's fleshly sins and linguistic shortcomings. The result is an uneven but funny portrait of a man who, unlike W, is keenly aware of his own limitations. Jay Torrence handles Chris Brown's life-size Harding puppet with fluid skill, and Noelle Krimm and Luke Hatton are guffaw worthy as Mrs. Harding and H.L. Mencken. As a portrait of Harding the show's incomplete, but as a commentary on Americans' love of the second-rate it's depressingly effective. --Kerry Reid a Through 5/26: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland (second floor), 773-275-5255, $10-$15 or "pay what you can."

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