Tales from Mom's Crypt V: Escape from Tiff's Mouthful | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Tales from Mom's Crypt V: Escape from Tiff's Mouthful 

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Tales from Mom's Crypt V: Escape from Tiff's Mouthful, Corn Productions, at the Cornservatory. Todd Schaner and Robert Bouwman's fifth appearance as the drag-comedy duo Tiff and Mom offers 90 minutes of inspired Halloween silliness filled with puns and bawdy humor. (In a typical--if atypically tame--double entendre, the slutty Mom is dressed as a circus clown and proclaims that she's "looking for a big top.") Tiff and Mom open and close the show and appear in a few of the ten skits; a large, likable cast brings the other characters to life. Few companies could make child molestation or a serial killer funny, but Schaner and Bouwman, who wrote most of the material, are clever enough to carry it off.

The evening's three comic miniplays could all use some trimming but are filled with delicious moments. In "Snow White Cheddar," Tiff is dissed by gangsta dwarves who sing "I'm high, I'm a ho," while "Have You Seen the Bugs Yet?," giddily choreographed by Michelle Renee Thompson, is a musical paean to creepy, crawly things.

Two of the tales--one about a woman stalked by a shotgun-toting ex-boyfriend and one in which a legend explains why and how she killed her children--are chilling, ripped from the news and scarier than any vampire story. At first they seem part of a different show, but upon reflection they provide a sober balance, calling into question our love of the ghoulish.


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