Messing With a Friend | Annoyance Theatre | Improv/Sketch | Chicago Reader
When: Open run: Thu 10:30 PM
Price: $5
"Yes, and . . . " is the holy mantra of any solid improviser, the idea being to build upon—never to tear down or impede—whatever your partner tosses you. In the long-running Messing With a Friend, Susan Messing reigns supreme over "Yes, and . . . ," imbuing pregnant pauses with many an excellently timed F-bomb and fleshing out characters at once demented and lovable. The "friend" of the title alludes to the revolving rotation of actors and performers who join Messing weekly; the week I saw it, her guest was Steppenwolf ensemble member Rondi Reed, whose improv skills seemed a bit rusty. But Messing carried the ball for them both, in one bit effortlessly jumping from being the man ditched for the gay choir director to the gay choir director himself before leading the whole room in a round of "Amazing Grace." "A joyful romp through hell," the program calls the show; fire and brimstone never burned so good. —Chloe Riley
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