Ladies Fright Night | Bughouse Theater | Improv/Sketch | Chicago Reader
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Ladies Fright Night 

When: Saturdays. Continues through Oct. 26 2013
Price: $10
improvisedjaneausten.com
Till Halloween, the ladies of Improvised Jane Austen are seasoning their cauldron with a new ingredient: spookiness. Though vampires and zombies are scheduled to creep into the act—on 10/19 and 10/26, respectively—the theme was gentler on the night I attended. "Gothic novel" was perhaps easy pickings, the narrative borrowed from Austen's gothic parody Northanger Abbey. Mary (in the role of Northanger protagonist Catherine Morland) visits her cousin's manor, learns his mother died there, and suspects foul play. In an inspired move, the same actress played both the mother's ghost and the mother's murderer, a sinister gentleman obsessed with knives. Although the cast regrettably exchanged Austen's Victorian diction for verbal hooey (rendering rabbits as "hippity-hoppities," and worse), I admired their restraint in not having the mother stab Mary in the end. —Jena Cutie

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