Tales From Mom's Crypt III--Don't Look in Tiff's Mirror! | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Tales From Mom's Crypt III--Don't Look in Tiff's Mirror! 

TALES FROM MOM'S CRYPT III--DON'T LOOK IN TIFF'S MIRROR!, Corn Productions, at the Cornservatory. Robert Bouwman and Todd Schaner's drag creations return once again to host an evening of "hot and nasty" stories in the latest installment of the ongoing adventures of the suburban mother-daughter duo Tiff and Mom. Tales From Mom's Crypt III opens promisingly enough with Bouwman and Schaner sniping at each other throughout the introduction. But aside from a goofy riff on 'N Sync and Britney Spears (which imagines the prefab teen pop sensations as slave laborers in a Sweeney Todd-esque meat-pie factory), the first act's spooky tales are marred by clunky stagings and poor executions. And a rather tasteless segment about John Wayne Gacy doesn't mesh well with the show's otherwise lighthearted bits.

The second act is much more even: vignettes depicting the horrors of unchecked technology and a bloodthirsty ventriloquist's dummy segue nicely into the closing segment, an X-Files parody with Tiff and Mom as intrepid paranormal investigators. One-joke "tableau of terror" gags nicely intercut with the show's longer scenes provide moments of quick comic relief. As in past Tiff and Mom episodes, however, Bouwman and Schaner and their constant bickering and bitchy vaudeville routines carry the show; too bad the rest of the material is never pushed to the same hilariously campy extremes.

--Nick Green

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