Judgmental Institutions | Annoyance Theatre | Improv/Sketch | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Natalia Via and Sean Sawyer

Natalia Via and Sean Sawyer

Sam Bengston

Judgmental Institutions 

When: Wednesdays. Continues through Aug. 30 2017
Price: $10, $12 at the door
Huggable Riot’s 12th sketch revue, Judgmental Institutions, has some great ideas sadly overshadowed by its actors' not-so-great stage presences. An example of the former: a scene about a vampire slumber party (held during the day, natch) includes the bloodsuckers lamenting that they have no idea what they look like—no reflections, of course. In another office workers gush about their thrilling weekends only for us to discover that their actual plans were pretty lame. The performers, however, aren’t adept at adapting to the myriad locations and circumstances—or reacting to each other. In one scene a woman celebrates her half birthday with a game of putt-putt golf, exclaiming that if she doesn’t get a hole in one, she’ll kill herself. Holy bombshell! Yet there's no build from there—as the actors take turns reacting, all that's reached is a plateau. (Plus, they take turns?) —Steve Heisler

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