If It Bleeds, It Leads 

The second scripted effort from Triplette--a trio of women who've improvised together since 1998--reveals their tight, trusting collaboration and true-to-life characters. We want to laugh long and hard, but it's not easy at this late-night sketch-comedy show. The opening is sharp, as competing newscasts emphasize sex and violence, but when the three turn to a news backdrop for self-absorbed Trixies, the commentary isn't as pointed. Promising scenes in which household-pet puppets weigh in on how TV makes them feel inadequate or in which a skinhead friendship falters when one buddy is discovered without his uniform both veer into troubling territory as they try to make accusations of homosexuality funny. These talented writer-performers clearly share a sense of fun, but we can't necessarily discern the focus and humor of their commentary. Through 11/17: Wed 10:30 PM. Playground Theater, 3209 N. Halsted, 773-871-3793. $10.

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