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A dirty puppet is one of the many funny--if not quite original--touches in B.R.A.T. Productions' sketch-comedy show, Poppy Seed Lane. There are also gay Republicans, a George W. Bush impersonator, an embarrassing secret that's revealed on an airplane trip, and some hilarious carols, each explaining why the racist singers are looking forward to a white Christmas without a certain ethnic group around. Most of the sketches could use some shaping and a director (none is credited), but the ensemble--Bill Larkin, Robyn Scott, Anna Mitcham, and Terry Kane--work well together, and Scott has a knack for creating diverse characters. The second show on the bill, Basically Awesome, is basically awful. Poking crude fun at easy targets like evangelists and corporate honchos, Day in the Life Theatre Ensemble is simply dull. The one high point is a punk rocker singing lyrics that all come from Dr. Seuss. Through 1/23: Sun 8 PM. Second City Training Center, Donny's Skybox Studio, Piper's Alley, 1608 N. Wells (fourth floor), 312-337-3992 or 877-778-4707. $5-$8.


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