Every Speck of Dust That Falls to Earth Really Does Make the Whole Planet Heavier | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Every Speck of Dust That Falls to Earth Really Does Make the Whole Planet Heavier 

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At a time when most comics and comedy troupes avoid all but the most obvious political humor, it's refreshing to see satire that's both more informed and more biting than the usual fare. Structured as a TV newsmagazine, complete with an unctuous anchorman (David Kraft) and regular departments--Cover Story, World News, National News, and Analysis--Warm Body Ensemble's Every Speck of Dust most closely resembles the Living Newspapers of the Depression era. Like the Living Newspapers, Every Speck of Dust uses actual news stories as jumping-off points for political satire, expressing points of view eschewed by the mainstream press. Last March in their first collectively written show the ensemble tackled such diverse issues as the gulf war, the sophistry of statistics, and the way the issue of electability is used to weed out all but white male heterosexuals from the presidential campaign. What is most remarkable about the group is not their willingness to discuss politically charged topics--any politics junkie can do that--but the witty way they squeeze comedy out of deadly serious topics like homelessness, the deepening recession, and the fact that most of the jobs available to recent college grads are dead-end. My favorite segment in the current edition--a piece carried over from the last show--is the comparatively lighter Dan Quayle National Dance Company, in which performance pieces are created from Quayle's more bizarre public pronouncements, such as "This isn't a man who is leaving with his head between his legs" and "Republicans understand the importance of bondage between parent and child." Rudely Elegant Theater and Gallery, through July 8 (1934 W. North, 489-9848). Wednesdays, 8 PM. $5.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/J. Alexander Newberry.

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