Dear James Franco | Under the Gun Theater | Improv/Sketch | Chicago Reader
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Dear James Franco

Dear James Franco

Richard Shotwell

When: Saturdays. Continues through Feb. 27 2016
Price: $12
Each time I catch an Under the Gun show, the improvisers are sharper, clearer, and more imaginative. And without sharp, clear imaginations, the conceptually challenging Dear James Franco would likely land with a thud. Each week the host reads aloud a published letter of sorts (on the night I attended, it was a memoir entry from a young writer musing on her World War II veteran father’s courage under fire). A few of the nine-person ensemble write down phrases from the story, each of which becomes the title for an improvised scene. And while those scenes wander gloriously far afield, they often ingeniously subverted the original text. The scene titled “Bravery” featured a father explaining to his five children all the cowardly lies he’d ever told. —Justin Hayford

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