American Variety 2 With Alison & Carolyn | Drinking & Writing Theater @ Haymarket Pub & Brewery | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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American Variety 2 With Alison & Carolyn Agenda Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Wednesdays, Sundays. Continues through Sept. 25 2013
Price: $15
The classic variety show—that giddy mishmash of comedy, music, and other light entertainment—went the way of the dinosaur by the late 70s. Drinking & Writing's new sketch show, billed as a "tribute" to the old format, emulates it only in the broadest strokes. Instead, cohosts Alison Connelly and Carolyn Shoemaker use the theme as a pretext for an otherwise run-of-the mill comedy show. It's clear that some kind of research has gone into the project, as the hosts perpetually name-check bygone variety shows, but what they offer up here is ultimately limited. Neo-Futurists veteran Sean Benjamin appears in several sketches to some of the show's biggest laughs, but his comfortable, offhand performance only highlights the cohosts' weaknesses. —Keith Griffith



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