Club Kettle Drum | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Club Kettle Drum 

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As conceived by I.O. music director Dave Asher, Club Kettle Drum is a nightclub seamlessly blending music and improvisation, though quirky improv ensemble Happy Manniversary, joined by two solid veterans, never sing, and the musicians play straight songs from a real album, Sci Fi Sol. But each group supposedly inspires the other's choices. Sometimes the show feels like a concert with distracting improv interludes, sometimes like an evening of comedy rudely interrupted by music. Occasionally, though, the combination is tantalizingly effective, as when the improvisers extend a sketch in mime, cleverly appropriating the tension in the music when the band takes over. The sum of the show isn't yet greater than its parts, but kudos to the performers for an interesting experiment. --Ryan Hubbard a Through 1/25: Thu 8 PM, I.O., 3541 N. Clark, 773-880-0199, $5.

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