The Fowler Family Radio Hour | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

The Fowler Family Radio Hour 

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This scripted comic variety show by six writer-performers--most of them transplanted southerners--both tries too hard and not hard enough. Like other parodies of Southern life, it features melancholy over the War of Northern Aggression, a maniacal focus on high school football, an opening prayer, malice sweetened with sugar, and plenty of bless-her-hearts. As directed by Bill Bungeroth, some bits are funny (baton twirling! an enthusiastic tap dance performed by a closeted gay man!) and one is good (the Siderunners, the musical guest stars last week). But usually the dialogue is forced, and the actors continually upstage one another while vying for laughs. The idea is fine, but the execution usually is not. Through 4/16: Sun 7 PM, Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 W. Belmont, 773-561-4439, $10.

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