Black Comedy | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Black Comedy 

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BLACK COMEDY | Speaking Ring Theatre Company's revival of Peter Shaffer's 1965 Benny Hill-style farce is funny enough and lasts not a minute longer than the humor requires. Brindsley, a socially ambitious South Kensington artist, gives a soiree to impress a multimillionaire art collector and a man Brindsley hopes will be his father-in-law. Everything goes terribly awry when the lights go out--though the stage remains brightly lit. Without benefit of candles or flashlights, the increasingly desperate Brindsley must deal with his jealous former mistress, suddenly alcoholic landlady, and prickly gay neighbor, whose furniture Brindsley "borrowed" to upgrade his flat. Director Kevin Gladish deftly re-creates the chaos of the Marx Brothers' crowded stateroom scene in A Night at the Opera; bumping into multiple props, Michael Brownlee's Brindsley excels at touchy-feely salaciousness and escalating hysteria. Let there be dark. Through 10/17: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM. Steep Theatre, 3902 N. Sheridan, 312-458-9374. $12-$15; industry shows Thu and Sun.

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