Life Is a Joke | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Life Is a Joke 

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In this sketch show Teatro Bastardo tries, with middling success, to do what most comedy troupes do: find the humor in life's difficult moments. The setups often point to predictable punch lines (the Department of Homeland Security is tapping a phone line--and enjoying it!), and sometimes the bits are too cute to be provocative. But as they unfold they reveal form-stretching surprises--shameful confessions, an ugly striptease, verbal sparring with popular movie lines, a rousing group number full of innuendo and hokey singing. Despite some overly pristine blocking and line readings, the actors occasionally flash talent (especially Gabe Garza), and they remain admirably committed to their characters. --Ryan Hubbard a Through 3/9: Fri 9 PM, Second City Training Center, Donny's Skybox Studio, Piper's Alley, 1608 N. Wells (fourth floor), 312-337-3992 $8-$10.

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